One woman I know loves her church callings, whatever that calling might be, and she’s invariably distraught when released. Even if she’d felt trepidation at the start, at the end she’s sobbing because she doesn’t want to go. I regard her experience with wonder and awe. It is something completely alien to me.
Myself, I accept callings because that’s simply how I was raised. I serve diligently and reliably because it is the only way I know how. Conscientious is the word that appears in all my school reports from age 7 on up. But I have never loved a calling, and I am always happy to be released. Usually a fleeting happiness, since a release almost inevitably means a call to another task.
My friend is a people person, and it’s the people she loves. I, on the other hand, am not a people person; I try, but find it all very draining.
It has been pointed out by others that in the LDS church a calling means something rather different than in other denominations. We don’t perform a task because we feel called to it, but rather are told we have been called, and that who the Lord calls he qualifies.
I have yet to feel qualified in most callings I’ve served in however, and in the one calling when I did feel qualified, my experience was one of having my hands tied by those in authority above me, so my personal experience of serving in church callings has been mainly grim and gritted teeth. My very worst callings have been serving on Young Women Presidencies. Relating to the girls was an insurmountable task, and while I could cope with Sunday lessons (manual issues to one side), the weekly activity seemed a form of torture designed especially for me. Heck, it was torture back when I was a YW. Being in leadership didn’t improve the experience any. Socialite and night-owl I am not.
Imagine how I felt Sunday when I was extended a call to join the YW Presidency. Sure, I had known they were a counsellor short, but I really hadn’t felt at risk. I was too old (mid-40s), I wear trousers to church, I’m outspoken in Sunday School, and there’ve been tussles over hymns and the handbook in my call as Ward Music Chair*. Whilst my daughter is ahead in her Personal Progress, she does it primarily with her Dad, not me; he’s the one who likes to set goals. I pointed out that I don’t like and do not recite the YW theme. To no avail. Yesterday evening black clouds descended. I seriously doubt I will ever feel qualified to serve in YW.
On the plus side: this time my daughter is one of the girls and so far doesn’t seem embarrassed by the prospect of my participation; there’s a new curriculum. But I’m still the same activity-loathing hermit I’ve always been.
- Have you had a calling you’ve loved, or one you’ve loathed?
- Are you more like my friend, or like me?
- Have you ever felt that you’ve been qualified by the Lord? If so how does that work?
- Tips for surviving or even enjoying YW would be welcome.
*I get to keep that one for the time being.