What Happens at the Bible Study…

Today was supposed to be my first day of Bible study.  I woke up and made a batch of chocolate chip cookies as some sort of peace offering to the women of my group who would have to tolerate my lack of faith, not to mention my endless series of questions.  At about1pm, my husband showed me his elbow.  It looked seriously puffy and weird.  I told him he should go to the Care Now to get it checked out before he went on the road for a week.  Since it was 99 degrees outside today and his 65 Ford doesn’t have A/C, he took my car. I figured he’d be home in plenty of time for me to get to the meeting at four.

What do they say about the best laid plans?

Yeah, well, we all know how that story ends. So, when my hubby called at three to say he was still waiting to be seen, I called a friend who was also going to the Bible study to ask for a ride.  I left her a voice mail and about twenty-minutes later I texted her. Then I called the leader of the Bible Study to let her know I would probably be late.  That call also went to voicemail.

Neither call was returned by Four-o’-clock.  Was this a sign? I could be completely creating this all in my neurotic noggin’, but I kind of got the feeling that my presence was no longer requested.  Why?  Well, for one, I’m a writer and I guess the rules that apply to Vegas also apply to women’s Bible study groups—what happens at the Bible study stays at the Bible study.  Unless, of course you’ve invited a spiritually questing writer to observe said Bibly study, then all bets are off.  I probably wouldn’t want me there either.  This got me thinking that I may need to do this inquiry into religion without telling anyone I’m doing it. Because once people know, they’ll either act differently or else they’ll shut down and won’t want to talk to me.

What to do?  What to do?

Should I be like Groucho Marx who once said, “Please accept my resignation.  I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post for a very important message.


Okay, so my friend, the first one I called, just texted me back to say she’d fallen asleep and didn’t go.  So, I guess I was just being paranoid about them not wanting me there.

But then I also thought, maybe I’m making this all manifest to prevent me from partaking in the Bible Study.  Did I send my husband off with my car so I wouldn’t have a ride?  Do I put my own road blocks up because I’m scared of being judged?

So, I guess I’ve got to ask myself, what would Jesus do?

I prefer being upfront and honest with people, but maybe this journey really isn’t about other people and what they do.  It’s more about what I do.  So, should I attend the next Bible study?  Or should I go it alone on a covert mission?

What do you think would work best if my mission is to discover my religion, while also writing about the experience?



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23 Responses to What Happens at the Bible Study…

  1. I think expectations are a constant threat to discovery. My advice, be honest with yourself and the people you’re bringing with you on this journey. I think like any great journey, you have to be ready to adjust your destination based on your discoveries.

    • I think my discovery is that I’m a lot more scared than I originally thought.

      • Claire says:

        What is it about the pospective experience that scares you? When I attended a few Bible studies back in the day, my fear was always rooted in the fact that my take on the scripture was different from everyone else’s – not that I was an unbeliever, but people still viewed me as such because our respective doctrines weren’t in sync. Christianity is complicated to begin with, and its adherents blow things out of the water even further with in-fighting and denominational differences.

  2. Claire, I fear being judged for what I already believe that has nothing to do with religion. Like, they are going to think I’m not good enough or that something is wrong with me. Gosh, I sound like I’m in Junior High.

    • JT O'Neill says:

      My fear would be that I wasted valuable time that I could have spent reading or being with my family – I guard my time more than anything else and that is what often stops me from doing things.

  3. Lori says:

    You’re not who YOU think you are, you’re not who THEY think you are, you are who YOU think THEY think you are! Give it another chance Pam…and bring cookies!

  4. Hi Pamela, I was looking forward to reading about your spiritual quest, so I hope you won’t stop pursuing it or writing about it. As long as you’re not naming names or insulting anyone else’s beliefs, I don’t see why you can’t honestly blog about your journey.

  5. Betsy Cross says:

    You make me laugh (in a good way!) !! I like you already. I’m scared to death of commitment and regularly and subconsciously put up road blocks whether I’ve told someone what I’m up to or not! So fun to see “me” being played out! Keep up with the journey. You’ll have a lot of fun. Thanks for being so brave!

  6. Hi Pamela. From an ethical/professional standpoint, in that setting I think you must tell people you are (or may be) writing about the meeting. If someone has something personal to share they can always ask you not to make it public. Also, the class members would probably be happy to share their faith. The only concern might be the level of knowledge required for that class. You won’t know, though, if you don’t attend the class 🙂

    • I’m going to go next time and I’ll stick with being open. I opened up this week’s study and the first thing it talked about was being positive. This is a struggle for me.

  7. Elizabeth vonTauffkirchen says:

    Pam, did you read The Year of Living Biblically? It’s A.J. Jacobs’ journey to find his religion. His whole family is Jewish but he and his wife were no religion. When he had a son, he felt obligated to search for some belief in order to be a better parent and man. It’s a great read and your journey reminds me of his in so many ways.

  8. olbigjim says:

    Sometimes, things just aren’t meant to be. I reckon it wasn’t meant for you to be there for that particular meeting. Maybe Sister Beulah Mae has a huge chocolate chip cookie fetish and would’ve dove into them with gusto, completely disregarding her brittle diabetic state. Perhaps she would have gone into a diabetic coma, somewhere between Exodus and Leviticus, and fallen asleep in the arms of Jesus. Who knows? One setback shouldn’t make you chuck the whole thing, though. I’m glad you’re going back. Because I’ve spent so many years searching for the truth, I’m following your quest closely and I can’t wait to hear what you’ve discovered at the end of a year. Keep it up, Pamela and keep us up on it!

    • Thanks Jim! I can’t believe that there are people watching and wondering what is going to happen to me on this journey. It’s like a soap opera! Between the other blog and this one and life and doing this quest, I’m a little overwhelmed. It’s good I have a plate full of cookies:)

  9. jillwriter says:

    Why didn’t you take hubby’s car?

  10. JT O'Neill says:

    It sounds as if you have already made a decision but I am with those who say keep going. Life got in the way this last time but that doesn’t mean anything. Just life doing her thing. And, sure, I would be upfront as in – I am here exploring this world of yours. I am a writer and want to write about my responses to the Bible Study. Curious about next time.

  11. Take a sacred religions class at your local university / college. I took 2 such classes–raised Catholic/Born Again X–and the tenets of Taoism& Buddhism really struck a chord. I now define myself: as spiritual. Also Pam, I think you would get a serios kick out of the 1 short story I have posted at m’place. Tire Rims & Hailstones is a story about a Bible Study (!) gone horribly wrong. (based loosely on actual experience) I would love to hear your opinion.

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