Sure the church smelled like chlorine. But there were no complaints. Fact is that it was the fastest growing church in, I don’t know, the history of religion? Not sure. I really don’t know a whole lot about religion. Never cared for it myself.

 What I do care about is numbers. And if a church wanted to install it’s own swimming pool in the basement? And the membership numbers in the church went from 30 to 3,000 in 2 weeks? That got my attention. I loved to swim.

 Course it took me awhile to become a member. Turned out there was a waiting list for the place. And then the screening committee review. But I made it. Hot damn! Jackpot! It was like winning a lottery. I was a member.

 Church was on a block in the city where there were a lot of indoor swimming pools. Course I didn’t know that then. It wasn’t a gated block. Anybody could walk through. But no one did.

 And the church had a special service. 10:55 to 11:00 a.m.  Every Sunday Morning. All the folks who took care of the pools in the big houses got to come. The workers were like family. One big family. Time went on and some of my best friends were the workers. They were just like us.

 

The pool was the big draw. Family fun and all. But the 5 minute services helped too. Nobody got bored. Nobody got mad. Nobody said that one religion was better than another. In fact, I think we really did something for religion in the world because no one fought about it anymore.

 We just swam in our pool.

 The best part was our lifeguard. We had applicants for the job from 16 countries. In total, 4,032 people. But we narrowed it down to one. Really fast. It was the only way to do it. I mean we probably wouldn’t have gotten many more applicants. And we did find the perfect guy.

 Why was he perfect? Because everybody liked him. In fact he was impossible to dislike. It was like he had some kind of likeability gene that melded him into being whoever you wanted him to be. Nicest guy in the world. Didn’t bog us down with a lot of details on religion. Did what we told him to do. He just talked about sunshine for 2-3 minutes each week, we sang a song and then we all went swimming.

 Who could complain? It was perfect.

 See we all knew that nothing made people angrier than religion. Don’t EVER mess with a pissed off atheist or agnostic. They will smother you with a passion for the cause that you really don’t even want to hear. Those people can get angry. And religious extremists? Don’t get me started.

 

So we got a swimming pool.

 And the worlds best lifeguard.

 Course there was that time that that poor kid, she was the youngest daughter of one of the help, fell in the deep end. And our lifeguard wanted to save her. Tried to save her. He ran as fast as he could. And all those rumors about him not jumping in the water because he couldn’t swim, none of them were true. He just didn’t get there in time.

 And I don’t know what all the bitchin was about. This was church. This is where we all agree. This is where we swim.

The kid made it. She didn’t die. One of the workers pulled her out. Not sure what his name was. But he pulled her out. She was fine. Oh sometimes she wakes up crying. But that will pass. We’ll all pray for her. We still do prayers. So we’ll pray for her.

 Before you know it?

 She’ll be back swimming again too.

Views: 135

Comment by JMac1949 Today on December 31, 2012 at 11:11am

Can't begin to imagine where this came from, but I'm sure it's from beyond left field... enjoyed reading it... R&L ;-)

Comment by Jeanne Sathre on December 31, 2012 at 11:39am

There's a church in Lakeland, Florida called the Church of the Mall (although maybe I made that name up--not the church though). They bought up a whole mall and turned it into a church with stores and everything. It's pretty amazing. They're a little more serious about their religion, though. I think all the stores are Christian themed. And no waiting list that I'm aware of.

Comment by Emily Conyngham on December 31, 2012 at 12:27pm

I adore this post, Roger! I am going to think about this one all day! Excellent. Happy New Year.

Comment by Matt Paust on December 31, 2012 at 12:33pm

I'm with Mac on this one, Rog.  It does seem too good to be true, altho I think I sensed a bit of irony weaving thru all the perfection.  But it was, of course, entertaining. 

Comment by Marlene Dunham on December 31, 2012 at 1:13pm

I found this intriguing and bizarre at the same time Roger.  But fun to read & something to think about.

Comment by Chicago Guy on December 31, 2012 at 2:44pm

JMac--Front page of the New York Times the other day is what caused me to remember this piece. An article on how declining church attendance was causing churches to open up in coffee shops, malls, etc. So I thought, "how 'bout a swimming pool?"

Jeanne---That church was mentioned in the NYT article.

Matt---Just a BIT of irony???? I better get to work! (And don't tell anyone!)

Emily--The question that intrigues me is, "Is this place a church I'd want to belong to or not?" I'd be curious if anyone has an opinion on that.

Comment by Chicago Guy on December 31, 2012 at 2:47pm

Marlene--I find it bizarre too. What I wonder though is, "is this religious? Spiritual?"

Comment by Emily Conyngham on December 31, 2012 at 3:34pm

My short, knee-jerk reaction is NO. Of course, being me, I need to think for a while to back up my reaction with some kind of rationale,

Comment by Chicago Guy on December 31, 2012 at 3:43pm

Emily---Me neither.

Comment by Poor Woman on December 31, 2012 at 3:55pm

That's not my idea of the way to worship. And your ironic twist hasn't escaped me.

My question would have to be, can you clarify for me what prompted you to write this ironic piece?

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