And I needed it?
Reflections on the way to the Church and why you do not want to go back.
Just the other day, it will be eight years since I began to consciously go to church. Of course, not a round date, but for some reason I just now wanted to look back and sum up small interim results, or rather, try to understand whether it was a mistake, whether I am satisfied with my current position in the ROC and if I have a desire to leave. I will answer the last question at the end – I’m a director in the past, I have to endure an intrigue – and I’ll start, perhaps, from another.
To tell you the truth, I do not know if I would come to church now. A similar phrase I heard from some priests. To be honest, our church is going through difficult times. Maybe those people who have known me for a long time (for example, my teachers) will say that it could not have been otherwise, that sooner or later I would have found myself behind the church fence anyway. But I'm not sure. I entered a television university, I wanted to do something media, I liked being on TV, I remember my delight when I was shown with my friend (albeit briefly) on Channel One. And I certainly did not dream of connecting my life with domes and so on. No, I believed from childhood and prayed every day for the night, and God for me was never a metaphor, but still …
It was not life's problems that brought me to church, not loud miracles (although I was literally told today that my life was filled with them, and I see it myself), but the realization that they take care of me at the top. It is hard not to appreciate it: when you have time to pass the coursework at the last moment (about how I gave it and what it cost me, you need to shoot a separate series); when one non-passed test (lying, not even one) threatens with a military subpoena, you cannot learn anything at all, well, it does not work for you, and they still say to you: “You scored the necessary number of points”. Some people left your life, but others came; you forgave someone, and then these forgiveness helped you a lot. All this led (gradually) to certain reflections. Life has improved, but the holidays seemed something incomplete. And meetings with friends could not fill the spiritual emptiness, inner loneliness that suddenly arose with the restored external well-being. And then, at one point, listening to the program, you catch yourself in the glimmering thought: “Maybe I should go to the temple?”
Separately, I think, it is necessary here to thank Heaven for the fact that I first studied all the negative things about the Church. The story of "Pussy Rayot" pushed this. I still express my gratitude to them for having aroused in me an interest in dogmatics (“What is the solea” in which they danced, and who is the Mother of God? ”) And made me, a passive layman, think about my place in the church. Then I started reading LJ Andrei Kuraev, and by the time when I first confessed and received communion, I could hardly have been surprised about the Church (although familiar priests claim that everything is ahead).
In part, some personal qualities helped me stay in the Church. Having read in the magazine that biblical stories are similar to the myths of Middle Eastern peoples, I did not take off the cross, but began to delve into biblical studies. So I met Andrei Desnitsky, who became not only the person who answered all my questions, but also my very dear friend. In addition, I really love this topic, because it helps to conduct deeper dialogues with atheists.
And, of course, without the personal experience of God, the sensation of His presence beside (sometimes literally), the observation of His Providence in my life, I would not be a Christian. Recently, I had a fascinating dialogue with Mikhail Baranov, and within the walls of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. This is a former monk who has lost faith and is now actively engaged in “churching” the Orthodox. Fortunately, I met on my way adequate priests, and therefore I avoided classical religious distortions. But I find it difficult to blame those who are unlucky. The only thing I will never approve is sabotage. Out of church, well, live as you want. Why ruin the lives of others?
However, I was distracted. I wanted to sum up some results. Do I regret that I made such a choice almost eight years ago? NOT. I slowly consciously entered the ROC, realizing that I was letting into my life, so I have nothing to regret. Are all my hopes for the church justified? Not. It is sad for me to see that some priests are negligent in their service (I am very soft now, very gently). I hate that now everything is very bad with missionary work. And doubly sad that my attempts to anyone were not needed. I tried to cooperate with well-known media resources, but nothing came of it (I don’t want to describe why here; let it remain on the conscience of those people with whom I negotiated). I would like to apply my journalistic education in the sphere of Orthodox journalism, to somehow carry the message of Christ. Although now I understand that this is not an area where I could do it. This is the same journalism as any other: taboo, censored and boring. So sorry, guys, apparently, we are not on the way …
Now everything has returned to how it was two years ago: equal membership in the parish (which, by the way, I changed because of disagreements with the practice followed by the prior), periodical publication where they give, and blogging. Would I like more? Of course. I believe that I will find myself in the field of missionary work, maybe this will not necessarily be related to work. The time has passed when I thought that for this purpose a license or compulsory catechesisation courses were absolutely necessary. It is much more important to live as a human being, to show yourself that you go to the Church with pleasure and understanding why you need it. I like the fact that we are actively discussing urgent church issues, there are heated discussions on Facebook. And I no longer have high expectations to church all around, disappointments, when I hear that one of my brothers or sisters in faith behaved incorrectly. In the end, it is impossible to deny by God the freedom and freedom to use this person. It is important to do the maximum of yourself, but do not overdo it. Therefore, it remains for me to exclaim after the apostles: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the verbs of eternal life! ”(John 6: 68–69).
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