Hey everyone. I just wanted to write to the board a bit and get some of this out. Let me recap my story.
My religious background is in the Mormon church. I'm not here to trash the members or the church's teachings, but give that info only to let you know where I'm coming from. Something I always found appealing in the Mormon church is the idea of God reestablishing his church on the earth again. It is also the same thing which lead me away from the church. The question of "What if the church never fell away?" began to worry me. I fought it. For years I fought it. I first looked at the Catholic Church, then the Orthodox Church. I fell in love with the Orthodox Church for many reasons when I first attended in 1997. Yes, 9 years ago, I went and just about decided to join. Off and on through these past nine years I've fought it. I didn't want to leave my old church and it's familiarity. My pride was in the way and I didn't want to admit I was wrong.
I wish I could tell you what happened to finally enable me to make a decision and know with certainty it is the right one. I was attending catechism class at the Orthodox parish I've been attending for a year now. I also had started RICA classes at a Catholic church. The two classes were an eye opener. In the Orthodoxy 101 class, everyone was into the lessons, preparing before hand, and asking thoughtful questions. It is a small class of about 8-12 normally, but there is a spiritual hunger present and I've thrived in it. The RCIA class is much larger, about 30-35, and people there are bored out of their mind. No one reads the scriptures we are to study, and everyone seems to be there only to "put in their time" to join next Easter or whatever in order to get married. Now, I didn't pick the Orthodox Church because it had a better class. But what I realized when thinking about this, is it isn't just the class that acts that way. I do it myself at both. I find myself much more spiritual in the Orthodox Church. I find my hunger there is also satisfied.
In short (too late, I know), I have fought the Orthodox Church for years, but now no more. I was afraid to commit, fearing it would only be a stop along the way and I didn't want to join when I was already fearing falling away. I tried to give the Catholic Church every chance possible, which has allowed me to develope a great love and appreciation for Catholics. But I do find the historical and doctrinal positions of the Orthodox Church to be stronger, and as I wrote earlier, I find myself striving to be a better person there as well. I know I'll always have questions but what I don't have any longer are any doubts. I know the Orthodox Church is where I belong. Sometimes I just want to scream out in joy about what I've found there. I, unworthy Michael, have found the spiritual home I've always craved.
There is so much I left out. Maybe some day I'll write it all out before I forget. I just wanted to hit a few points and share my joy about being baptized this next Pascha and finally being a member. I hope you all can be happy for me, since I don't think my family will be.
Thanks for reading my blabbering.