You probably know my name.
You probably see my face multiple times as we stroll up and down the hallways of the church. Therefore, because of our casual acquaintance, you probably believe that you know everything about me.
I’m just good ol’ Mitch Wakely, right? The 23-year-old man who has spent his whole life in this sleepy shell of a town. The man who has spent many a Sunday in the four walls of the sole church in town, listening as the preacher began the sermon barely above a whisper, then increasing in volume until his lungs should’ve burst from the strain and effort of yelling straight to the heart of each sinner sitting in those oak pews.
Yes, these things are true. But beneath this shallow surface—beneath the mask I positon over my face every Sunday before grabbing my keys and heading out the door—is a person, a monster that none of you would have ever assumed lurked in the dark corners of my mind.
Let me introduce you to him. His real name is Apathy, but you can call him Fluffy. His gray fur is soft when you pet him, so the name isn’t that farfetched.
You see, Apathy and I have known each other since I started high school. Even though my life continuously rotated from one event to the other, my mind still managed to pick out a pattern—a routine—in my life. Wake up each day; get ready; go to school; complete homework; attend various games, meetings, and other such assemblies; go home; eat dinner; go to bed. The routine followed me throughout my high school and college days. And no matter how hectic my days were, the purpose of life that I had previously known flew out the window.
And Apathy busted through, shards of glass surrounding him as he thick tail wagged and his long tongue dangled from his mouth.
Apathy and I have been together ever since. A constant companion throughout the years, celebrating the good and mourning the bad with me. Even though Apathy has sort of filled the empty hole in my gut that I had felt before he entered my life, I can’t help but miss that purpose to life I had previously known . . . and loved.
So I’m going to embark on a journey—a journey that I invite you to join. Don’t worry about Apathy. He doesn’t bite, although he might playfully tug at your hand most of the time.
Our first destination actually resides in my town. It’s a place I go at least twice a week, maybe more if I’m needing a refuge from the world or a quiet spot to spill my feelings.
Welcome to church.