I have spent the past couple of weeks not having anything interesting, dramatic or even vaguely entertaining happen to me. Which I suppose is all very well, but it does mean I have been in a state of internal conflict. This has meant wondering whether my next post should be about exploring faith, knowing who your friends are or how conversation can go from ethical issues to cake in just one sentence. It is an internal conflict which is currently being resolved, by me realising that the perfect compromise would be to write about one topic for which recognition is long overdue: cell group.
When I was first invited last year I don’t think I really knew what to expect. Now, looking back, I realise that there have been few other social settings in which I have landed on my feet so easily. I’m really not one of life’s socialites, and until recent years, had spent any people based settings keeping a low profile and not knowing the first thing about fitting in. Since meeting friends from Thorpe Acre church I have learnt a lot: how to give and accept hugs without shrinking back; that passing the time by singing your own interpretations of worship songs is perfectly acceptable; that not everybody judges you by your social skills or sense of fashion.
Now that I’ve joined the church’s cell group I’ve also come to realise that the occasional touch of insanity is a natural part of conversations, in-jokes and life in general. I honestly still don’t know how we managed to talk about food, wearing glasses and whether a computer in the bathroom is really necessary throughout the last meal we had together. So it’s probably best not to ask.
Our most recent joke was mostly on me. As many of cell group’s comedy gold moments have been; there have been far too many for me to remember them all. The past few Sunday evenings have been spent studying Corinthians 1, the book that explores how relationships are supposed to work. As you may know, the topic of sex before/outside marriage can be tricky territory to have to explore, and so “sex” somehow ended up being replaced by “physical activity”. Had I not spoken up, the territory may have remained tricky; however, I’m not sure whether my input provided a bit of comic relief or only made it all the more awkward.
“I tend to think of physical activity as just keeping fit and active. Like going to the gym, or something.”
Not my most intellectual contribution to a group discussion. Fortunately, after a brief awkward pause, everyone present saw the funny side of it, myself included (eventually). Suffice it to say, we at cell group are now firm believers in waiting until after marriage before you go running, or work out on the treadmill to your hearts’ content.
Joking aside, I think one of the best things for me is the time we take to analyse the meaning behind much of what we read in the bible. I’ve found that regular church services, great though they can be, can get a little bit routine at times: turn up, play violin in Music Team, listen to reading, have someone comment on violin playing/ask after parents, go home and continue with day.
It’s sharing personal beliefs at a deeper level with friends and question anything that doesn’t make sense that helps me to understand the concept of faith. Being an overly analytical autistic introvert means that just thinking and believing what I’m expected to without reflecting on it doesn’t come naturally. This may be a strength, it may be a weakness, or, as is often the case, it may be me and my “special” brain, unable to understand things like a “normal” person. But hey, as our favourite cliché goes, “there is no such thing as normal”. How true.