Pastor Robin Murray

FAITH: Being intentional about connections

A column from Castlegar pastor Robin Murray

Submitted by Robin Murray, Castlegar United Church

“Going to Church? I don’t have time for that!” she said, “I wish I did, but I just don’t need one more thing on my to do list.”

Our world is so fast paced and stressful, it’s true, we don’t have time for near as much as we wish. We can’t do it all, so something has to go. Deciding what that is going to be, is tough.

The people who show up at church on a Sunday don’t have any more time than anybody else. They, too, have the weight of work and volunteer commitments, toilets that need cleaning, leaves that need raking, and families needing attention. They have simply made church a priority.

I think it helps to consider that going to church is not like going to a concert or sports match or even a yoga class, it is more like a relationship. Going to church sets aside time for you to explore your relationship with God, the Universe, or whatever it is you call the divine. It also sets aside time for you to develop your relationship with community.

In that way, setting aside Sunday morning becomes a little like having a “date night” with God and community. Just like in a marriage or any committed relationship, you have to set aside time to care for and maintain your relationships. If you neglect them, they don’t usually come running after you. You just slowly drift away until one day you wake up and go, “What’s missing in my life?”

What’s missing is connection. Even introverts like me crave relationship with something bigger than ourselves, be that God or community or both. But life is so busy so much of the time, that connection doesn’t happen unless you are intentional about it.

Okay, now maybe you’re saying, “Yeah, but being intentional is just one more thing on my to-do list.”

So, do you feel anxious? Do you have trouble finding hope in this world? Working on your relationship with God can help with that.

As for community, well, sometimes God puts on a human skin and shows up in the form of other people. I’m not talking about angels, I’m talking about regular human beings, who show up with a hug when you’re down, and sometimes even will rake leaves or clean toilets when you really need the help.

So, make the time. Church is worth it.

Robin Murray isthe pastor of Castlegar United Church.

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