Why join church?

“Why would I ever want to join church?”
was my question of years ago.
I’d have to 
   sit on sometimes-turbulent committees
      work with occasionally difficult people
         provide prayerful and financial support.
Who wants all that? 

Why not just attend weekly services 
and continue to pray and study
   on my own?
Why not just avail myself of others’ 

Then one day, after years
of this kind of thinking,
a new possibility dawned on me:
What if belonging to church
   deepened my understanding of God
      helped me live and practice Christian ideals
         opened new spiritual vistas and demonstrations? 

What if those sometimes-turbulent committees
   provided avenues for meaningful involvement?
If those occasionally difficult people 
   strengthened my character, patience, and compassion?
If my time and prayers and donations
   actually made a difference to other members
     and the world?

Today, there’s a different question I ask myself—
one that reflects my humble gratitude
for the unique ways in which
church membership has allowed me
   to progress spiritually
      to honor, serve, and bless others,
         to feel more of God’s grace and harmony
every day:  

“Why did I wait so long?”

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