Being privately spiritual but not religious just doesn't interest me. There is nothing challenging about having deep thoughts all by oneself. What is interesting is doing this work in community, where other people might call you on stuff, or heaven forbid, disagree with you. Where life with God gets rich and provocative is when you dig deeply into a tradition that you did not invent all for yourself.
Thank you for sharing, spiritual but not religious sunset person. You are now comfortably in the norm for self-centered American culture, right smack in the bland majority of people who find ancient religions dull but find themselves uniquely fascinating. Can I switch seats now and sit next to someone who has been shaped by a mighty cloud of witnesses instead? Can I spend my time talking to someone brave enough to encounter God in a real human community? Because when this flight gets choppy, that's who I want by my side, holding my hand, saying a prayer and simply putting up with me, just like we try to do in church.
Maybe it's cool to talk about how you can find God in sunsets (I can find God there too, so you ain't special, sunshine), but the church is one of the last places were we can be a true community and it's the only place where we can learn about God from the lives of others.
The church isn't perfect, but I don't know what is. But I do know that every faith community is a wonderful jewel filled with people trying to learn to be Christ to each other. That's truly interesting and inspiring.