I sat in the back of church today. My typical assignment when the boys serve. It began when Bailey started his tenure as an altar server in an effort to not be in a position to jump up and run up on the altar if he faltered or was having an issue accomplishing his task. It was, literally, for the greater good of everyone involved. Now, it is simply a habit. What I love about it is that at 8 am mass there is space. No one is sitting on top of anyone. At the moment of the sign of peace, I simply wave to my neighbors who are a comfortable 40-50 feet away from me. Makes loving Jesus even better.
With having a little prayer time prior to mass, I decided that Lent might be a good time to revisit a literary gem on my Kindle about detoxing from judgement. After all, if my intent for the next forty days is to do something different, why not immerse myself in some sort of rehabilitation of my everyday thinking. Pretty content with my “ah-ha” moment, I barely noticed the couple that sat down in the pew in front of me. But then my gears shifted into judgement mode. The dialogue running in my head was screaming, “Don’t you see the other open pews everywhere in this church? Why are you sitting directly in front of me? Don’t you know the protocol? Didn’t anyone tell you that I like to sit alone with the nearest person being at least 50 feet away from me?”. Then I realized that God has this really twisted sense of humor, so I went with it…….reluctantly.
While half-listening to the homily – it was being presented by a deacon that isn’t a favorite of mine – I found myself deciphering the difference between being judgmental and being opinionated because if I am going to do this detox, I want to make sure there is no confusion. Then I realized that the only difference between the two is that an opinion simply reflects what I think of something whereas a judgment is an assessment. For example, “Those people are so rude. There are seats elsewhere,” is a judgement, but if I say, “I don’t like it when people sit too close to me,” is more of an opinion. It’s kind of all about semantics.
I needed to be clear on my intent as it can get murky. So, I am striving to be less judgmental during this season of Lent. I think it will go well as long as I don’t have to be around people.