Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday Morning Workout, With Hillbilly Mom's Mom

I make it a rule never to discuss politics or religion on my blog. Rules are made to be broken.

We went to church Sunday with my mother. She's a regular. We're those people who only show up on special occasions or holidays, prompting the congregation to tsk-tsk behind their hands about how SOME people only show up for special occasions and holidays. Which of course rubs me the wrong way, and makes me not want to attend any time except for special occasions and holidays.

The main event this week was the awarding of a monogrammed Bible to the #1 son and another recent graduate. It's a nice gesture. #1 spent several years of Sundays in the loft, synchronizing the audio/video components of the sermon, as well as contributing to special programming like Easter and Christmas. Of course, people who only attend church on special occasions and holidays can hardly get up and leave right after their son receives his Bible. So we were there for the long haul. I even commanded The Pony to put away his gaming phone and pay attention.

I had no idea a church service could be so physically demanding!

Don't get me wrong. This was not my first time inside a house of worship. Even if you don't count all those special occasions and holidays. Nope. As a child, I was a regular attendee of not only church, but Sunday school. Mom and Dad didn't go, but I went with my grandparents. Let's not get all hung up on denominations. But I will say that my childhood experiences were in a B church. Make that a 1st B church. It had dark polished pews and a baptismal pool behind the pulpit. I can honestly say that I was never bored during the service. I enjoyed the old-timey hymns and the organ music. I could usually apply the message of the sermon to some part of my short life. There were people to watch, and ladies' clothes to compare to some that might have been worn by Doris Ziffel. You know, Arnold's "mom" on Green Acres.

Church was a peaceful interlude between the hyperactivity of the nursery where my grandparents volunteered, the challenging Sunday school lesson, and the flurry of clothes-changing before sitting down to my mom's Sunday pot roast. We walked in, greeted people, chose our regular pew, and got our sermon on. When it was time to sing, the choir director advised us to turn to page something-or-other in our hymnal. After church, we filed out and shook hands with the preacher on the front steps.

That is not how things go at Mom's church. She attends an M church. Make that a 1st United M church. Maybe it's simply a sign of the changing times, but people did not dress the way I remembered from my childhood. I always wore a dress and shiny shoes. Not shorts and a Cardinals jersey. But I suppose the Big Guy doesn't really care how one is dressed in His house.

Several minutes into organized religion, I understood. This service was like a combination Jane Fonda Workout, advanced Pilates class, Zumba fitness, and Billy Blanks Bootcamp all rolled into one. Richard Simmons would have been sucking air, and his sweaty Oldies would have collapsed. Football players in their first week of two-a-days have not suffered through as many ups and downs as this congregation on any given Sunday.

Mom told me, behind her hand, of course, that only the right side of the congregation responds to the pastor when he asks for an amen, or do we hear him. Yeah. I saw that side of the church. They are younger. The ones on Mom's side are obviously winded from the aerobic workout. Somebody's gonna tear an anterior cruciate if they're not careful. I am still sore today.

I think I can recover in time for Christmas services.


Chickadee said...

I hear ya. I grew up Catholic and hated all the standing, kneeling and sitting x 100 during a mass. And good grief were the sermons boring.

Hillbilly Mom said...

We went to a wedding in a C church. But rather than noticing all the calisthenics, I noticed all the repartee between the priest and the parishioners. Or as I thought of them, the emcee and the audience.