Imagine this scenario: You’re walking into church when you see an older church member, so you immediately bow and say a polite hello. You see another person and do the same thing. It happens at least a dozen more times until you finally reach the sanctuary. After the service, you walk out and greet as many people as you can until you reach the refreshments. Then you go upstairs to the youth room and try to be as kind and as friendly to everyone you see while trying not to forget anyone’s name. After that service, you go downstairs to lunch where it’s a sea of even more people you need to greet. Okay, so say you didn’t greet one person and it hurt their feelings. At some point, their hurt feelings will reach the ears of your father, who is the pastor, and he’ll tell you to make sure to greet that person the next time you see them.
Welcome to a small part of my life.
All of the things that I have to do seem monotonous and pointless, but there’s always a reason for my actions. Ever since I was born, I was held to a higher standard of “holiness." I’m sure if you’re a pk (pastor’s kid or any clergy’s kid), you feel me. When I was younger I had to memorize Bible verses, read and write a chapter of the Bible each day, and I was encouraged to pray for at least 15 minutes. As soon as I was able to drive on my own, I was given a curfew. Even now, I have to be home before midnight to be an example to others. My words and actions were to be an example for others. If I did anything wrong, I heard about it, and it was never to happen again.
When I was younger, I thought all of this was pointless and I hated doing it. I would smile and say hello, and as soon as I turned around, the smile would disappear. I even tried to avoid people’s eyes, and I tried to move as quickly as possible. Now, as an adult, I still don’t like it, but knowing all of the people I greet has been a good thing. It gives me an opportunity to get to know people I otherwise never would've interacted with. Reading the Bible, praying, and memorizing verses are great disciplines to put into practice in my daily life, but it's a little harder now that I'm a decision-making adult. Having to get home before everyone and people making fun of your curfew sucks. I'm not sure where I was going with that one, but I realize now that the little things that were pushed upon me had value and made me who I am today.
So next time you walk through the church, be like me. Greet someone with a smile and start to get to know the people around you.