Wednesday, June 18, 2008

TASK #99 Confess My Sins

I did it. Cross #99 off my list!
So I looked into where confessions were handled in my area and found a church just 6 blocks from me that had them from 3-3:30.
Of course I got wrapped up in something and almost forgot to go until I realized what time it was at like 3:20! So I ran over, entered the lobby, and saw a door with an availability light (a cross that was red when I got there showing it was occupied.) I almost got up to leave when I saw the cross turn white and the door open. Someone older walked out and for some reason I felt the need to look away, out of respect for their privacy I guess, as if I'd heard them confess their sins.
Anyways, I walked in to a small room with a half wall and a kneeling bench that I assumed I needed to kneel at.
I asked "is there still time?" and a soft but manly voice said "of course my son." That was a little creepy and ominous, almost like God was actually there. Anyways, I explained that I had never done this and he said, "don't worry, I will guide you through the process. First, you say "forgive me father for I have sinned." Then you say how long it's been since your last confession. Then I will read a scripture to get this session started. Have you ever heard the story about how Jesus was a shepherd and how a single sheep got lost from the herd? Many would say he was foolish to leave the herd of hundreds for a single sheep, but that is because he truly believed every single one was as important as the whole flock and merrited his love and attention. Just as he left the flock for one then does he leave the flock to hear you and comfort you now. know that he loves you and..."
But father (not sure why I called him that) I must admit to you, I am not a practicing christian and don't really believe in organized religion or the church. I'm doing this because it's on my list of things to do." And he said, "my son, this list, is it yours?" I said yes. "then by having this confession on your list shows you believe, if even a little, and that you seek, and Jesus said, seek and ye shall find. You may not know it, but you are in your own way seeking him. Know that he will always be there when you seek him, regardless of whether it's years or decades, his love will not fade, and his hope for you will never wane. Now tell me, what would you like to confess?"
Wow, um, I was actually emotional at this point. The idea that someone was there always waiting, willing to listen and absolve me of my mistakes no matter what, was really powerful.
I struggled through my confession, and he just listened, asking for elaboration only when he felt I needed to reflect on something a little more.
At the end of my 10 minute rant into my sordid past he asked me to do 3 things:
1. Ask Jesus to forgive me and absolve me of my sins
2. Pray for my daughters, that I might be a good father to them.
3. Pray for those that I felt had done me wrong and forgive them.
The first prayer I did there, the other two I was to do on my own time, out loud.
He then asked that I consider joining the church and to continue confessing regularly until I felt totally clean of my deeds and mistakes of the past. I said I would try. I thanked him. I left.
I felt compelled to leave something in the giving box, because this was a therapy session as much as anything else.
All in all it was a really good experience and I recommend everyone do it at least once, even if you're not religious. I really felt a like a burden had been lifted off my shoulders, and though I still felt bad about some things and guilty about some of my issues, a part of me knew it was a first step on the path to a better future.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I am so proud of you. I didn't realize what an experience it was for you. You definitely should go again...and for the full 30 minutes this time!