I sometimes think about what I am missing by not going to church on a regular basis these days, and the answer is not much, to be honest. I miss some of the liturgical side of things, and I definitely miss the sense of occasion at festival time, but I am hoping to re-engage with that side of things a bit more now I work in town and can perhaps go to stuff at the Cathedral. I don’t know if reciting liturgies or singing Christmas carols would be like lip service to something I’m not sure I believe in, but I think I’d like to give it another go, especially as I have found myself praying a lot more lately.
But the other thing I miss is doing voluntary work. Watching The Secret Millionaire the past few weeks has really made me want to be someone that actually does something good and not just someone who takes care of themselves and their friends/family but not the wider community. I have been looking into opportunities in Sheffield and found I have a lot of personal obstacles to doing many of the things. I don’t always have much energy, and I still have to be very careful about my mental and emotional welfare so health implications rule some things out already. My life is also very full with study, work, drama, RPG, socialising, exercise classes and swimming, and there isn’t that much free time, certainly not that much that is free on a week-by-week basis. I also have a very bad time with the telephone, to the extent that I wonder if I have some sort of learning difficulty related to listening, so that would rule out a lot of the admin based stuff.
Nevertheless, there are a few options I am enquiring about. I am scared about committing to anything just yet: one of the negative legacies of the whole church thing is my attitude towards commitment – I am scared of committing to things I won’t be able to see out, and I also don’t want to do to other people what was done to me (which also rules out mentoring type stuff – way too much baggage there), but I am looking at options that maybe don’t require a weekly commitment or whatever, or things where the weekly commitment is small, and where the emotional investment isn’t too big for me.
I used to do so much of this type of thing when I was younger, but because there’s so much baggage attached to it all that I want to be careful. I don’t have the energy, time or, to be honest, motivation, to martyr myself like some people do, but it would be so easy to just have my life as it is, with the people I know and love, and not do anything for the world around me. But I don’t hae young children, I don’t have a rigid work timetable, I do have some skills I could share. I think I should do something. And I will, even if I don’t know what just yet.