We Don’t Care Which Church You Attend. Just Please, Go!*

Yesterday found me running late for church. Don’t ask me why; I woke up in plenty of time. It seems the fine art of time suckage has followed me even to this stage in my life.

Anyway, at 10:00 a.m., I realize that I am not going to make church on time, so I decide to pick a church that has an 11:00 a.m. service. It will be an adventure. I drive to the Blue Roof (Presbyterian), where we attend an AA meeting on Thursdays. Just as I remembered, the service starts at 11:00 a.m. Except on the 5th Sunday of the month, when services start at 10:00 am. I peer into the window of the sanctuary (from afar, of course), and services have already started. It is 10:20 a.m. Damn 5th Sunday.

So I drive over to the humongous Lutheran church on Dale Mabry. The big sign in front of the building proclaims that services start at 11:00 a.m. I stroll up to the door, notice that I am the only one outside, and hear the faint sounds of … preaching. I eye the usher warily. “What time does the service start?,” I inquire. “At 11:00. Except on the fifth Sunday. Then it starts at 10:00.” It is 10:30. Shit.

Oh, but I have more churches in my arsenal. Don’t forget that, through AA, I have completed the tour of Carrollwood churches. Ah, the joys of the fellowship. Off to another Presbyterian church, located conveniently close to the AA meeting my beloved is attending on this fine Sunday morn. Yeah, except services started at 10:30 a.m. It is now 10:45. Surely God is playing a practical joke. Ha. Ha. Funny, God.

With a sigh, I turn my car around and head toward the Methodist church that I just drove by. The sign said services start at 11:00. But now I find myself skeptical of the sign’s knowledge of what the hell is going on.

I pull in, which is not a problem because there is no one there. Okay, okay. I exaggerate. But really, only a handful of cars. Good Lord, these folks need to pull something out for me. And they do… all 30 of them, many of them octogenarians. It might have been a little Blood of the Lamb for me, but at least I made it to church. Finally.

Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

* Title paraphrased from a billboard on I-75. Seriously. Gotta love the Bible Belt.

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