On my birthday (fancy that!) I was called into the Bishop’s office and given a new calling—a calling I had always presupposed would be my dream calling (seriously: fancy that). As soon as he said, “instructor in the Relief Society,” a huge smile burst forth from my lips and almost as quickly, I felt immediate shame in that gregarious smile. I tried to close my mouth and ended up just raising my eyebrows. Still, when he asked how I felt about the calling, I couldn’t resist saying it: “I feel really great.”
It was such an odd experience. I’ve never been so excited by a calling; I’ve never really felt at home in a calling or loved it completely.
I’ve always learned in my callings, learned from them. I’ve always grown as a person. But enjoying the process of that was an entirely different thing. I come from the school of thought that doesn’t allow you to say no to any calling and so I always say yes, assuming the spirit of the call knows more than my meager mind, the logic I use to try and unravel whatever the bishop might have been thinking.
(There, I said it: I think I know what’s best.)
And I know I need to be humbled.
For years I was mired in the piano callings, bouncing from one piano to the next. From that I took away an ease in performance I had not known prior. Then there have been the string of presidency callings, which never fail to leave me feeling less-than. I’ve just decided that I’m not that girl—the talents of “planning” and “organizing” have never been in my canon. I’ve also had callings in cub scouts, with the youth—things I only did with my hands and not my heart because my own kids were too young to participate.
I know this was wrong. Is wrong.
I feel so much guilt about the possibility that I didn’t magnify my callings. I feel as though Heavenly Father had very specific things He needed me to do and maybe I didn’t get there. I feel like my failing Him gave way to his giving up on me instead, His noble brow creased as he shook his head hopelessly: “Fine. Have it your way…”
I can’t reconcile the idea that I’m allowed to love a calling wholeheartedly. The idea of sacrifice weighs heavy in me now as I wonder over what I’m giving up by accepting my new calling. I can’t think of anything that’s difficult about teaching a lesson, discussing Conference talks with my witty, intelligent sisters—and that lenience feels ridiculously self-indulgent.
I feel embarrassed by this admission. It seems wrong somehow—to love a calling so wholeheartedly, and so now I’m curious: do you love your calling? Do you covet a different calling?
Or do you hate it?
And in a religion where patience is a strand of DNA inherited from our forbearers, is utter delight over what you’re asked just frivolous? In the face of all this work is there time to enjoy what we’re doing?
(I think the short answer is yes—but I rarely see this on a bustling Sunday.)
And if we don’t enjoy it, is that grounds enough to be done with it? Can we simply resign? Say no? Because I’ve always wondered about how to get on that track.
(I’m kidding of course. Now that I have my dream calling…)