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January 26, 2007 / missknowitall

Church Attendance

Dear Little Miss,

Congratulations on your new column. I have an unusual new problem in my life. I don’t want to go to church any more. It is not that I have stopped believing; it is that I have responsibilities to a couple of new children in my life; and that, plus my work, feels overwhelming. I see my nephew on the weekends, and he takes up so much energy that I actually get ill from the stress.I know you will tell me to go to church, but church just feels like one more responsibility and I don’t feel like I can manage it right now.

–Struggling 

Dear Struggling, 

 Thank you for the congrats!  It sounds like you have a lot on your plate these days.  I would never presume to judge someone for their church preference or attendance.  I believe that all people worship, or don’t, in their own way.  What troubles me is that it seems like you are giving up your church attendance for other people.  This is the reason I’m troubled:  Let me assume that you have attended church for spiritual growth, and to attend to beliefs that are important to you, and that you aren’t just there because they serve free doughnuts.  If you remove this from your routine without replacing it with something equally uplifting to your inner being I fear you will suffer at least one of two things.  Either you will begin to wear yourself thin and run the risk of wearing your self out (in which case you will become useless to those whom you are sacrificing for anyway), or you may begin to resent others as being the cause of your busy schedule which will hurt relationships and cause you extra grief.  So, though I will not “tell you to go to church”, I will tell you NOT to neglect yourself and your inner health.  Remember, you must take care of you if you want to take care of others. 

Take care of yourself!

Miss Knowitall 

P.S.  I’ve often wished that my church served free doughnuts, but then, I’ve often wished that everyone served free doughnuts =). 

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One Comment

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  1. Church goer / Jan 28 2007 8:38 am

    Dear Miss Knowitall,

    Your answer is surprisingly insightful. I will give it thoughtful consideration, and will probably make time for church as soon as my current emergency clears. And yet, I feel you are right about replacing it with something equally rewarding…

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