Recently I posted about the day I met President Hinckley. It could very easily have been just another of hundreds (do the math–I bet you didn’t have any idea it was that many) of Sabbaths spent juggling kids in the foyer during Sacrament Meeting, but it wasn’t.
The other incident that made that day remarkable to me was an experience that became one of a handful of moments during my life that defined what I know and who I am, and sealed my testimony within my soul in such a way I could never deny it.
Here’s how it played out:
At one point during that particular Sacrament Meeting I found myself pushing two kids in a stroller up and down a street in downtown Salt Lake City and I felt really alone. The street was deserted, the skies, the sidewalk and the buildings were grey and I started to feel a bit sorry for myself. Everyone else was inside enjoying the warmth and spirit of an uplifting meeting and there I was outside pacing the sidewalks with restless children in tow. I remember asking myself a question I’d asked myself on more than one other Sabbath during which I’d gotten so little out of my meetings, “Why do I even bother?”
Later that day, after we’d returned to Provo, I remembered I needed to get my temple recommend renewed. As I sat in the Stake President’s office, a member of the presidency started in on the standard questions and as I responded to the first few I received an irrefutable answer to the question I’d posed only hours before. As I was given the chance to bear witness to what I knew about God and Jesus Christ the spirit reminded me that this was why I bothered. Simply because I knew.
It’s not always easy to “be here.” I don’t just mean at church, I mean in the church. For some it’s wrestling kids. Or having wayward kids. For others it’s feeling alone. There is the ache of empty arms in a ward that seems to be teeming with babies. There are feelings of unworthiness and not-enough-ness. Or maybe not fitting in. An unkind or thoughtless word or deed. Temptations. Intolerance. Boredom. Distractions. Struggles over policy and/or doctrine. The reasons not to be here are many.
But even when showing up becomes difficult for me it always comes down to a half dozen or so moments like the one I described above that are indelibly imprinted on my heart and which keep me firmly planted right where I need to be. They were not lightning strikes or rolling thunder. They were just simple but monumental moments that I might even have missed had I not been paying attention or seeking some sort of reassurance.
What does that for you? What makes you stay or keep coming back?