We're in the process of looking for a new church.
Since the one we currently attend is very small, and we aren't ready to leave cold turkey, we're kind of sneaking out to do it.
Last night my mom and I left the Gabsters with Gilberto (yay!) and attended a Sunday night service at a very large church in our area, thinking bigger might be better.
Learning About Being Old
We walked in, found some seats, then looked around and realized we'd inadvertently sat in what must've been the high school section. You know how when churches have youth groups that don't meet on Sunday night, but the kids still go to church, and they tend to congregate in the same section of the church? So they don't have to sit with their parents? That is what we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of. We were surrounded by young, hip kids. A LOT of them.
And suddenly, I felt not so young and hip. I felt old.
Finding Out That Chivalry Is Not Dead
During worship, the girls right in front of us got cold and the boys sitting with them helped them put on their hoodies. It was so sweet! Remember those days when boys used to do things for girls to get them to like them? Well, that's been over for me for a good six years. Once you get married, your husband doesn't really have to do anything for you to like him anymore, because, well, he's already caught you.
Since I didn't have a hoody, or a boy to help put it on me, I enjoyed the one advantage there is to being larger than your average skinny bopper high schooler- us larger ladies have our own internal heating system. My fat was keeping me nice and toasty, no hoody needed!
Discovering My Behind Is Bigger Than Your Average Churchgoer
During the time we were standing amongst all the youthfulness, I noticed that the chairs were a bit on the wee side. I mean, they were REALLY small. And they were hooked together so there was no playing room if you didn't want to rub arms with your neighbors. Or outer thighs. Though it looked like if you could keep your feet crossed you lessened the risk of playing footsie.
Sure enough, when it came time to sit, the chairs were too small. And not only was I squished against the people next to me (thankfully one of them was my mom), but my butt got sucked out of the back of the chair. And considering the way the average sized butts around me looked as they were sucked through, it was definitely not a pretty picture for the people sitting behind me.
It was hands down the most uncomfortable chair I've ever sat in.
(Though I didn't see any complaining from all those young, hip high schoolers, who seemed to enjoy all the getting squished togetherness.)
Then the pastor opened his mouth.
And I swear I heard the gates of Heaven open and angels singing, the painful chairs very quickly forgotten.
It wasn't even WHAT he was saying, it was the WAY he was saying it. Oh Heaven have mercy, the man was speaking with an Australian accent.
That is one of the sexiest accents I have ever heard. Even the grotchety Crocodile Dundee can make me swoon, once he starts talking (although that whole outback thing is pretty cool, too). Here I was almost ready to pass out, in a church of all places, from accent excitement.
And that accent makes it sound like he's saying things like, "Thank you, Lord, that you died, so we could have wine." Totally my kind of preaching.
Being Brought Back To Reality
He made his announcements and then dismissed everyone for a coffee break. As soon as the lights came back on, the spell was broken, and we were once again sitting painfully in too small chairs, surrounded by children.
Oh, and wait. Coffee break? In the middle of service? Everyone jumped up and started pouring themselves coffee from giant urns set up around the edge of the room. Not bad, not bad at all.
But we already knew that this wasn't the church for us, so we used the coffee break to make our escape. We just couldn't sit in those chairs one second longer. Plus, the Australian pastor wasn't the one who was going to deliver the evening sermon. It was some other, normal speaking pastor. After hearing an Aussie, anything else would've just been boring.
What We Learned
Bigger is not always better.
Bigger actually means SMALLER chairs, large youth groups that can swallow adults whole, and strange coffee breaks.
Though I might keep their website on my radar so I can see when that hunky Australian pastor is up for his next turn at the sermon.