I think that the world is divided by religion. Supposedly, there is only one god and yet there are so many religions out there. I am one who does not believe in the existence of a god. There are too many questions about god that are unanswered. I am a man of logic and my logic cannot reason with the belief that god exists. It takes faith to believe in god and I’ve lost it.
Growing up, my family used to attend church every Sunday. I am not quite sure how we got starting with church because I don’t think that my parents were Christians. I liked attending church because I got the chance to play with toys. I didn’t have any interest in getting to know a high being.
We didn’t attend church for long though. After we moved into my current house, we stopped going to the Sunday services. Until one day, I was approached by a girl who attended the church down the street. She told me that there was this thing that goes on every Tuesday night where the kids would get to play games. That’s was all I needed to hear to get me to attend this weekly gather. It was known as Awana and it was held every Tuesday night at the Philpott Memorial church.
They had a van that came and picked me up, even though I lived a few blocks from the church. The van would go around the neighbourhood and pick up a few more kids before heading back to the church. When we got there, we had to register so they can put us in the right groups. Because of my age, I was entered into the Pioneers. My brother was entered into a younger group but I don’t remember what they were called.
Every night, we would all meet in the gym and compete against each other by playing games. These games were fun! I remember the best game that I enjoyed playing were the 3 legged races. My friend and I would always get teamed up together because we were good. The object of the game was to run in a circle and make one complete lap. Once you get back to your starting point, you would have to run into the center and grab a pin. Each pin was given a point so you would have to make sure you grabbed the highest scoring pin. We would play a few rounds and a few other games and the team with the most points would get Awana bucks at the end of the night. You can use those Awana bucks to buy things from the store.
Another way to earn Awana bucks is to memorize verse from the bible and recite them. The first verse I had to recite back was the Pioneer’s motto, Titus 2:11-12 which says, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”
Every night I would recite back one verse because I wanted to get more Awana bucks. I had no idea what each verse meant. All it meant to me, at the time was that I would be able to buy a pencil once I had saved up enough money. I don’t think I can remember any other verses that I recited back then. The prizes was what kept me going. I started attending it often enough that I eventually bought the Awana uniform. One girl in my class saw me in my uniform one night. I thought she was going to tell everyone in my class about it and in turn, they would make fun of me but instead, she just said that I looked cute in a uniform. I guess ever since I was little, I was wearing some kind of uniform.
Eventually, I stopped attending Awana because I had gotten too old for it. It was for elementary school kids and I had passed that stage of my life. I miss those days. If there was one thing that the Awana club taught me, it was team work. I got to know the guys in my club and we became good friends. During the games, we would all work together and cheered each other on. It didn’t matter what our backgrounds or our nationalities. The one thing that mattered was that we were Pioneers.