Tuesday, July 27, 2010


10:58. Wifey is asleep next to me. I am feeling a bit tired, and know that this will catch up with me tomorrow, but I can’t fend off the urge to create something. I should be preparing a lesson for Sunday, but instead, I check out a few blogs of note. Finding nothing interesting, I start to write.

I have myself myself to blame for being in this place of excitement. I love new starts. They aren’t just beginnings. Beginnings are too normal. A new start is a better term. Starts can refer to plants, which grow organically, or to races which are exciting, or the initial step in a process. Beginnings are just a beheaded story.

Enough prattle.

I am going to be starting a new opportunity on Sunday. I am going to be the president of a men's organization at church yet again. Even though I have done this before, I am starting with a new set of people I don’t really know, and already I have been staying up late thinking about what I can do to help out all the people in the quorum. Some things are on my wish list, while other things are still lurking in the mist, waiting to be discovered.

One thing I would like to do is to visit every family in their home. I want to get to know the people I have stewardship over. I want to know their struggles—if they are feeling like they are in a rut, or can’t find employment, or don’t have a friend. I want to help them out, but I don’t know them well enough to start.

I have two councilors, and have only met both of them briefly in a formal situation. I know relatively little about these two men, and wonder what ideas they will bring to the table. I almost had to look up one of the guy’s first name, because I was second-guessing myself on whether or not I gave the correct name to the stake presidency.

While I am a bit excited to start this new calling, I am also a bit nervous. If there was a calling of Ward Introvert, I would do all I could to get myself in that position. I like my privacy; no, I crave my privacy. I have never felt comfortable butting into people’s business. You have to do a bit of that as the president of the quorum. Its just the way it is. You have to butt into their business so that you can help them.

I don’t mind the helping—in fact, I rather enjoy that part—but I don’t like the butting-in part. I feel awkward and out-of-place. I don’t see it as divine intervention if I am the one doing the fumbling to try to help the miracle work. I have seen miracles happen, but I don’t know that I have been much help in making them come to pass. I mean, the Lord could have just made it all happen some other way, right? I have been in the right place at the right time, but how much of that is divinely appointed, and how much of it is just dumb luck?

It isn’t that I am afraid that I will be inadequate—it is more that I am afraid of what will become of me. There are things about myself that will get pruned away that I really like. I just won’t have time for them. They might be virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy, but they might not be necessary for the current time. They might come back later, but for now, I know that something is going to have to give.

There are men I have come to admire and respect. This comes by spending time with them. I just wish that I could hop back in time to see how they handled situations like this. I would love to have been in my dad’s ward when he was a bishop. I feel a bit disconnected from him because of the age difference, and we always were great at quarreling. Arguing was what brought us together most of the time. I am just as stubborn as he is in an argument, and neither of us likes to back down.

It would also be fun to see my father-in-law in this light. He is a man of few words, and prefers to give oblique or humorous answers when possible. For example, when I asked him what he did for work, he replied, “Who knows?” Then he changed the subject. Not that he is a poor conversationalist—he is in fact quite eloquent when he wants to be—he just prefers not to talk about himself. If you bring up BYU, he will be happy to discuss at length the glory days when he was at school, random BYU trivia, and can even tell you which games he was at, including who he was with (and who the dame of the day was for any or all of his brothers). Once you start to ask him about who he is, he shuts down and promptly leaves the room.

I think that the generational gap jumps in because these men have done what I will soon be doing—giving up their time and interests for the needs of other people. After they have spent so many years asking people, “What can I do for you?” They have lost a large piece of “What was I going to do?” Their direction has been swallowed up by other things that are greater than they are. I can see that they have embraced this fact instead of fighting it. In fact, most of the time, they downright enjoy it. 

At times, I still feel like I am in an argument with the Lord, and my stubborn streak and indecision is holding me there. And neither of us likes to back down.

No comments: