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Trying to become active again after a long lapse.

Nephi

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Hey all, some of you may still remember me. I haven't really been active on here at all these past few years, but I used to be at one point.

This post might be a little long.

Anyway, back in early-mid 2014 I was the most active in the faith that I'd ever been. I went to almost every service during Lent, prayed more regularly and just more in general than I ever have, etc. But then I stopped going to grad school and got a crappy part-time minimum wage job, and couldn't even afford to drive to my parish. I also, in all honesty, refused to go to the within-walking-distance Greek parish, because they were pretty unwelcoming toward non-Greeks in my experiences there (and in the experience of others I've heard of, including refusal of burial services for lifelong non-Greek parishioners).

So I just slowly stopped going to church, except for the odd couple of visits to a traditional Latin Mass with a couple friends of mine. Then in January 2015 I got a decent-paying job at the post office, except I had no set schedule, worked most Sundays, often went into work as early as 12-2AM, and worked a lot of hours. This meant that, even though I had money for once, I simply had to work instead of attend church. In December of 2015 I "made regular" and was no longer a temporary employee, and I was finally guaranteed Sundays off. However, by this time the habit of not attending church had fully developed and often working 6-day weeks didn't help. I'm still unfortunately working 6-day weeks, at around 56-60 hours a week currently. It's about 70-80 hours during November/December. This leaves me pretty tired, exhausted, and without nearly as much free time as I'd like, especially with family living a few hours away. And I'm incredibly unhappy at work, but financially have no realistic alternatives at this time. I sincerely love what I do for my job, but management creates such a toxic work environment that I really dread waking up every morning.

Through 2016 and 2017 I honestly wrestled internally off-and-on about Orthodoxy and religion. Every few months I'd briefly reevaluate my religion, consider others (especially the Baha'i of all things), and then lapse back into an indifference with Orthodoxy as my default status quo that I was ultimately too lazy to change. I was more or less Orthodox simply because that's what I'd been, and couldn't be bothered to really do anything else. With one exception - February of 2017 I actually made it to a Vespers service, did a confession, then made it to the next day's Liturgy and took communion. It was a couple days of random impulse honestly, not sure what even caused me to go through with it. Either way, that was the last time I went to church at all, and once again I fell back into indifference.

But something has been itching at me for a few weeks now, and I've been listening to Orthodox podcasts about Scripture at work and I've started reading the Bible again. Prayer is still really hard to actually do, but I'm going to certainly try to do something every day even if it's small. I don't know if it's going to stick this time or if I'll slip into yet another period of indifference, but I really hope I don't. And I know I keep saying the word "indifference" a lot, but I think that it's the most accurate description for my spiritual state all this time.

With that wall of text aside, does anyone have any similar experiences or suggestions? Even if not, I feel like merely typing this out has helped me in some small way by self-reflecting for once instead of the preoccupied indifference I normally fill my time with. So thanks either way. Hopefully I'll stick around for more than a day or two this time.
 

Ainnir

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Welcome back.  I don't have much useful to say, but glad you're here for now, at least.  :)
 

Nephi

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Thanks, guys.

NicholasMyra said:
Can you go back to grad school?
It's been a while since I've considered going back to college, but I have thought about it. I probably couldn't go back to the same grad school, and at this point I'd probably want to go into a different field anyway since my original field's job prospects aren't good.

So yeah, I've considered it. Just not sure what I'd want to go back for and how to best fit it around my work schedule.
 
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I do not think the church will ever be able to logistically help many Americans. Just try to live by the faith you received as best as possible.
 

LizaSymonenko

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Welcome back to the Forum...and to the Church!

We all go through dry spells.  Life has a tendency of eating up our waking hours and unless we actually make an effort to set time aside, we often have no "room" for prayer/church.

While that is the norm...that's not how it ought to be. ... I am as guilty as the next guy.

God should be at the forefront of all our actions.... and THEN the rest of life will fall in to place for us, as it should.

Try your best...and I guarantee it will get easier over time.

We need to be like Zacchaeus and climb that tree in search of God and salvation.

You will be in my most unworthy prayers.  May the Lord gently guide you, encourage and strengthen you, and grant you salvation.

 

Deacon Lance

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If it helps I went through the same thing in my early 20s. Worked a crappy job, 12 hour days every Fri & Sat.  I was exhausted by Sunday and attendance became spotty.
 

Nephi

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LizaSymonenko said:
Welcome back to the Forum...and to the Church!

We all go through dry spells.  Life has a tendency of eating up our waking hours and unless we actually make an effort to set time aside, we often have no "room" for prayer/church.

While that is the norm...that's not how it ought to be. ... I am as guilty as the next guy.

God should be at the forefront of all our actions.... and THEN the rest of life will fall in to place for us, as it should.

Try your best...and I guarantee it will get easier over time.

We need to be like Zacchaeus and climb that tree in search of God and salvation.

You will be in my most unworthy prayers.  May the Lord gently guide you, encourage and strengthen you, and grant you salvation.
It's funny thinking back to when I was in college and thought my life was so busy... I'd love to have that kind of free time again.

Anyway, thank you!
 

Nephi

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Deacon Lance said:
If it helps I went through the same thing in my early 20s. Worked a crappy job, 12 hour days every Fri & Sat.  I was exhausted by Sunday and attendance became spotty.
Sounds familiar. How did you ultimately cope regarding religion during that time, apart from spotty attendance? Eventually I plan to work normal hours and have normal weekends, but in the meantime it's a little rough.
 

biro

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I used to work a night shift. I would compensate for the weird feeling during the week by sleeping late on the weekends.
 

Antonis

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Welcome back, Nephi!
 

Deacon Lance

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Nephi said:
Deacon Lance said:
If it helps I went through the same thing in my early 20s. Worked a crappy job, 12 hour days every Fri & Sat.  I was exhausted by Sunday and attendance became spotty.
Sounds familiar. How did you ultimately cope regarding religion during that time, apart from spotty attendance? Eventually I plan to work normal hours and have normal weekends, but in the meantime it's a little rough.
I just came to the conclusion not attending was hurting me worse spiritually than sleeping in was doing me good physically.  The local Latin parish started a 5pm Sunday Mass which helped.  I eventually realized the job (chef) was going nowhere and was going to change so I went back to school.  I made the effort to drive to my Byzantine parish.  I finished school and got an 8-4 Mon-Fri job.
 
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