Nearly everyone knows at this stage that I have a tendency for the random ventures. I guess I’m one of those people who make a lot of insignificant impulse decisions based on the “Why not?” factor. Usually it leads to the most interesting of outings too! The most recent of which happened last Saturday.
I’ll set the scene! There was I, driving away (with very little to do might I add) when I decided to take a detour (if one without a destination could refer to such a thing) and head for the cathedral in town. I’m not overly religious, but it’d been quite a while since I’d been to mass or even visited the place, so I thought that it’d do no harm to go in and light a candle or two. I’m actually quite into lighting candles when I want an extra bit of help with things. It’s about the only thing I feel I can do when things get that little bit tough. Anyway, it was about 12ish in the afternoon and I knew the place was going to be practically empty which is when I like churches the most, so in I went.
The thing is, even if people aren’t into religion, they still find that churches have that eerily peaceful quality about them. You don’t have to be there to visit God to know that there’s something very atmospheric about the place. It’s excellent for sitting and getting lost in your own thoughts, whether you want God to overhear them or not. I wanted to have a bit of a catch up with religion to be honest. I know, I’m one of THOSE people. Live with it.
And for any of you who don’t know the cathedral very well, it’s incredibly dark inside and the best place to light a candle is right at the back of the church, just behind the alter itself. That’s my favourite place anyway – I like the idea that it’s just that little bit secret, like all the new people who haven’t yet ventured around the church may not realise it’s there and go to the front candles. The typical ones. The ones on show. I like my candles tucked away at the back. I think it gives the place a personal touch. Maybe I’m overthinking it.
So I started walking towards the back (But really, if we’re being technical, I was walking to the alter, arguably the front) when I reached the confession booths. Turned out confession just happened to be on in the place, something I probably should’ve guessed, but figured it was a tad too coincidental for me to not head in. Yup, I sat down and, despite not being able to remember the last time I went to confession, I sat there trying to remember all the sins I’d committed over my indefinite past. Could’ve been years since I was there last – what if God still held a grudge over that bitchy comment I made back in 08? I figured I’d do my best to recall everything and that the priest, if he was nice enough, might fill in the gaps. He did.
About forty minutes later later, I left the confession booth. Yup, over half an hour spent in that box. Not that I spent the whole time confessing, I was just have a very interesting chat with the priest. I recommend chatting to a priest to everyone. Sometimes it’s those random chats with a complete stranger that make for excellent conversation. See, I’m not a very philosophical person, but I do believe in fate. Well, to an extent. I think everything happens for a reason, and if something is meant to happen, it’s going to happen, regardless of whether I want it to or not. Likewise, if I’m not meant for a person, no matter how much I might want to be, I can understand that some higher force somewhere has decided this isn’t to be and the best thing to do is move on. I understand that, not that I don’t have a hard time accepting it. Said priest and I spent quite a while discussing this prospect. I decided I’d be completely honest with him, as is customary for a confession booth, and tell him that I actually had no intention of coming in for confession, nor even visiting the cathedral in the first place, but made an impulse decision to go with it anyway. He reckoned it was fate. I’d not argue with him.
When I left him, I had half headed down the church when I realised I’d forgotten to light my candles. I’d come this far, might as well give it the full 100% and not leave without completing the initial mission. I lit them. I even said a few prayers. I don’t really know what God thinks of my venture into the place and I don’t really know what I was hoping to achieve by going there.. but I felt better for it. That’s the thing about my religion. Mine – not the stereotypical religion everyone’s claiming to follow – nope, just mine. My personal religion. That’s the thing about it – It’s always there for a pick me up and a chat, whether I know that I need it or not.