Every time I find myself thinking about what other people are doing wrong at church… I’m doing something wrong at church.
I wish I could say I knew for sure who initiated that tweet. Sadly, I do not. I only know that one of the people I follow re-tweeted it and it LODGED ITSELF IN MY BRAIN.
Oh, I also know whoever said it first on there was probably Catholic because, in fairness, the original read “Mass” instead of “church”, but I really think it’s applicable no matter what your denomination, don’t you think?
That is one of the simplest, most obvious statements I’ve read, but, it is also completely profound and important.
To be honest, I never really considered myself Miss Super Judgy-Pants while I’m at church. It’s not like I’m looking for things to complain about or find fault with. If anyone had asked, I would probably have said that I wasn’t the least bit concerned about what other people were doing.
But that’s not really true.
When I caught myself eyeing the hot pink shorty-shorts a 40-something-year-old woman wore to Mass a couple weeks ago? I remembered that quote.
When I struggled to hear the homily over a non-stop noise-making toddler and found myself wondering why someone didn’t take him out? I remembered that quote.
And, when I fretted about my own son stifling a couple yawns as he served at the altar? Well, I remembered that quote.
Far from making me feel bad, that statement is actually liberating. It frees me from feeling the need to make things “right.”
It’s not my job to make sure everyone dresses appropriately, behaves politely, and does everything just right. Even my own child. (Because, realistically? I’m the only one who noticed. Chalk that one up to needless stress for him AND me.)
I go to church to worship God, not to make sure everyone is doing things in the way I think is best.
Even those people who can be downright distracting?
Not my job.
And you know what?
I rather like it that way.