two weekends ago i went down to high point, north carolina to work our women’s basketball conference tournament. i know what you’re thinking – watching three days of women’s basketball sounds like a ton of fun. it’s my absolute favorite thing to do. woo boy. yippee.

even with my, uh, lack of a passion for the sport i was going to be watching, i was still looking forward to the trip. there were a few reasons why i was excited about going down there and i feel as though there are two that each deserves its own line:

cook out.

krispy kreme.

now, before you go on the expected, “c’mon jonathan, those aren’t as good as the people from north carolina hype them up to be” rant and i’m required by north carolina law to punch you in the mouth, let me explain what i’m talking about.

krispy kreme to someone from the winston area is like tastykakes to people from pennsylvania. cook out to someone from north carolina is like in and out burger to someone from california or whataburger to someone from texas. what i’m saying is that it’s a big deal to us.

these two places are places that i love to go. i grew up going to them. they’re almost like the holy grail for me and that red “hot now” light at krispy kreme may seriously be a sign from jesus that he loves me.

now that i’m living in virginia without both of them, i appreciate them even more than i did when i was living in north carolina. when i get to stop by and engage in their heavenliness (is that a word?) i savor it and enjoy it more than i ever had before.

on sunday night, i had that feeling about my church.

yes, i know that i just took a major leap to go from talking about krispy kreme and cook out and how you’re wanting a doughnut and a milkshake right now to talking about church but hear me out on this one.

my church has four services on sunday. two of them are in the morning and two are in the evening. i generally go to the first service and serve in the second. i chose not to make the switch to “night church” because i’m normally working, doing homework, or taking a nap on sunday afternoons/evenings. however, because of my schedule, i went to “night church” for the first time this past sunday.

i was walking out of the bathroom with a friend of mine before church (yeah, that just sounds awkward, poor writing on my part) and mentioned to him that it felt like forever since i had been there. as i said that, it hit me that i really hadn’t been there much lately. i missed that morning because i was flying back from louisville. i missed the week before because i was in high point working. i was actually there the week before that. then the week before that i was in wilmington with my sister and went to church with her. in the past four weeks, i’d only been in the 9:00 service one time.

so there i was, standing there in the middle of the auditorium right smack in the middle of a group of people that were different from the “normal” group of people i was around on sunday morning. yeah, they went to my church and we had that in common, but i didn’t know them. it could’ve been very awkward but it wasn’t.

it was awesome.

there i was with a group of about 300 random people from my town standing and singing about jesus. for the longest time i thought that i didn’t have to go to church to be a christian. yeah yeah, that verse in hebrews says that one thing, but i could overlook that. i look back now and hate that i wasted my four years of undergrad not going to church.

i know that there is more to being a christian than going to church. my grandpa used to say that it’s the stuff the other six days of the week that counts the most and i think that’s true. however, there is something about gathering together as a group to sing to jesus that can’t be matched.

if you’re reading this and don’t have a church that you can call home, i strongly encourage you to find one. if you can’t, i’ll be more than happy to help you. if you’re reading this in lynchburg and want to find a home church, i’ll gladly pick you up and walk into my church with you so you don’t have to go alone. if you don’t like mine, i’ll help you find one that you do like.

the experience i had tonight is one that i hope that all 32 readers of this blog can experience on a weekly basis.

it’s even better than going to cook out or krispy kreme for the first time in three months.

and doing that is freaking amazing.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.