Each summer, churches are greeted with the phenomenon of dipping attendance. The usual explanation provided states that the faithful are on holidays, away from their home parish.
So where are these people, exactly? In a box? In jail? Perhaps on another planet, where no Orthodox church can be found?
The fact is, our travel plans are usually our own, and we bring to them what we choose to bring. Each one of us can choose to be near a church on a Sunday, or “too far away” to attend. We can choose to be mindful of the poor when we travel… or not. We can take along and use our travel icon and prayer book… or we can leave it in our bag.
The truth is, most of us are as faithful as we make up our minds to be. The way we spend our summer vacation is just one main example. Every day, in the office, on the road, at school, in a store, or at the gym, each person can choose to include or to exclude Christ from their mind, and from their actions.
Some apologists for impiety will jump to the defense that certainly, one can’t be expected to pray without ceasing, really? Yet of course, that is precisely what Christ demands of us: to be faithful on the road, at the supermarket, in an airport, or on the beach.
Too often, this kind of topic makes people feel guilty. For faithful Christians, it should simply make us become motivated. Then we’d see the measure of where Christ is in our everyday life.