Oh, these posts are so revealing. I wonder sometimes why I put this stuff out here for the whole world to read. It's a good thing there aren't very many of you. :)
You'd think after all that relief and gratitude I felt on Friday night, that I would be permanently transformed. You'd think that my next thought would have been, "Heavenly Father just asked you to do some dang hard things and showed you that it's possible to accomplish more than you thought you were capable of. That's probably not a one time thing. Maybe it's the new standard. Maybe you should take some notes and get used to a new routine." But instead, my head just went back to it's old self, and I thought, "Phew! I'm done and I lived through a hard thing. Yay me!" So I let myself take an all day break yesterday from all things requiring any kind of thought or movement. I slept until 9:00, stayed in jammies until 3:00, and inhaled every food I hadn't had time to eat in the last two weeks. Had it not been for the ward social last night, I would not have bothered to get dressed at all.
I got a text from one of the other GD teachers yesterday morning saying that he would be out of town for the next couple of weeks, and asking if I would rather switch lessons or if he should just get a substitute. I just ignored it because 1) um,...did he not know that I was on my mini vacation from all worthy endeavors and 2) I was pretty sure I was going to be released the next day and that question would answer itself.
I woke up this morning feeling a little like a hungover sloth, and a lot tempted to stay in bed and do it all over again today. Unfortunately for the sloth in me, having a handful of callings means there's no such thing as a responsibility-free Sunday. And the good thing always is, I might have to drag myself to church some weeks, but I never regret it once I get there. I can usually manage to keep the sloth in the parking lot.
We are abundantly blessed to have a former General Authority and his wife in our ward, but even before I knew who they were, I loved this sweet couple. Elder Gibbons recently finished serving as interim Mission President in Nauvoo, and he and his wife gave their homecoming talks today. They talked about pioneer heritage, church history, sacrifices made by the early church members who lived in Nauvoo, the temple restoration, senior missionaries, and about the rigorous but rewarding challenges of serving a full time mission at any age...pretty much nothing that was relevant to my current life situation. But I love them so I listened, and I know better than to discount a Sacrament talk just because it doesn't initially sound like it's going to apply to me...so I listened with real intent.
And guess what I heard...
Elder Gibbons talked about the schedules the senior missionaries keep in Nauvoo. Up at 6:00am to prep their area of assignment in the restored town (bakery, blacksmith shop, etc) then working all day in costume telling pioneer stories and demonstrating their crafts, then to their apartments for a quick dinner, then to the main square for the evening show, and then interacting with the audiences afterward. Long days, late nights, 6 days a week, for 18 months, and most of the senior missionaries were in their 70s. Then he talked about a visit Elder Holland made to the Nauvoo mission and an example he told the missionaries of serving at any age. He talked about Elders Scott and Perry who had recently passed away. He said that at ages 90 and 92, they should have been relaxing in Palm Springs, but there is no retirement in the church. They both served and magnified their callings all their lives, and continued to serve until the day they died, and would not have had it any other way.
Elder Gibbons also said that we have a responsibility to make things of an eternal nature a sacred priority in our lives, and teaching the gospel is of eternal importance.
He thought he was speaking to the old people in the congregation, compelling them to leave their nets and their comforts and their grandchildren, and to follow the Savior and be senior missionaries. And he may have done that. But the thing about speaking with the Spirit is that you catch other people in it, too. And he happened to have also compelled me to pick up my phone right that very minute and email that GD teacher to let him know that I would be happy to switch weeks with him and take Lesson 14 next Sunday. Because I haven't been released yet. I still have a calling to magnify and a responsibility to teach the gospel until I'm not a Gospel Doctrine teacher anymore. And teaching is of eternal importance. And also, how much weight does that relieve for that poor man who's stuck working 12 hour shifts in Philadelphia for the next 14 days, to know that at least he doesn't have to worry about his calling? ugh...I'm shocked sometimes at how selfish I am and that it took me 36 hours and a General Authority speaking three feet in front of me to compel me to do that.
So once again, I'm relearning that lesson that we're here until we're not here anymore. Magnify this place until you get to the next place. That's always such a hard thing for me to remember. And something about my life always seems to lend itself to knowing way too far in advance the things that are coming tomorrow and then forgetting to cherish today. There are great things still ahead in the 6 weeks or so that we have left in Allen. I'm sure there are great things in Birmingham. And greater things even after Birmingham. But, until we get there, I'm just going to magnify what is mine to magnify, and wait for further notice on the rest.