My husband is speaking at our local pub church gathering this afternoon. It is a cold, dreary, wet, depressing day and I probably should have gone with him to keep depression at bay, but I just couldn't do it.
I really wanted to go with him. I really wanted to see and talk to the other people there. They were expecting me. I was so torn about what to do just before he drove away.
The pub owners have so graciously welcomed the group into their establishment once a month under the condition that everyone purchase beer and nachos or some kind of food and that is only to be expected. They are a pub, not a free public meeting ground. However, I can't drink beer and I can't eat a meal at 2pm, particularly when I awoke at 6am feeling ravenous and just had to eat breakfast before 7am. There is no way I could last until 2pm or later to eat lunch and a snack between meals in the morning throws my blood sugar into chaos. I am not one of those people who feels they have some sort of inherent right to be somewhere to enjoy an activity but not obey the rules established in advance.
I remember many years ago when I first started attending church as a young adult and going along with the crowd for coffee or snacks at various restaurants in the area after services. We would fill entire restaurants with our young, boisterous and generally financially depleted selves, order tea or coffee with little or no food and proceed to pontificate for hours while customers who could have come in and ordered large meals for the restaurant owners' profit were unable to even get in the door. It always bothered me. We were so full of ourselves and our newly discovered spirituality that we gave nary a thought to how much money we were losing for the restaurant. As each place, after enduring several months of our inconsiderate behaviour, began to bar us from sitting down unless we ordered full meals and agreed to leave after an hour or two, it seemed to only anger my friends. They seemed to feel persecuted or hard done by. I never understood it. The businesses we were treating in such a cavalier manner deserved better from us who claimed (and claimed loudly enough for half the city to hear) to be so "christian". They had to protect their own profits and their reputations among the clientele they actually wanted to serve.
So, despite feeling kind of lonely and depressed today, I didn't go to pub church. Maybe it was wrong of me to stay home and miss out on the good friends and fellowship and my husband's good message, but all morning I couldn't help envisioning those old times, old friends, old inconsiderate behaviours. Maybe next time I will work out my schedule so that I can go too, but today, torn as I was inside about what to do, I think it is best that I just stayed here at home.