Sunday, July 10, 2005

With our own mouth, we are digging our pit.

In our little end of the flock we are experiencing quite a surge of angst against those who are in authority, meaning pretty much if you are in a leadership position currently you are questioned, challenged, unappreciated, and mostly disrespected for the way in which you choose to fulfill you calling. This is from the Bishop on down to specific teachers and auxiliary leaders. (In all actuality, if you are in our ward -you are fair game.)I was mostly unaware of this situation, thinking it was pretty much focused at me as a Primary President, I was wrong.

As a Primary President we had an interesting situation at best. When I was called, the primary then was barely functioning. I was serving in the Stake as an interpreter serving in another ward, so I was unfamiliar with the goings on in our ward and as I took over I was immediately congratulated, praised, and warned that the former President had led the Primary into literal destruction. I was smart enough to know that people talk and most of the time they are just venting. The former President, if truth be told, had an overwhelming job, with little or no support and did what she could with what she had. The teachers also had been over worked and under thanked and were on their last legs.

I took over and did my best to bring the Primary back to semi-normalcy, although even after 2+ years, "my" Primary wasn't running on all cylinders either. I left without a firm Scouting Program, a struggling Faith in God Program for girls, and only one annual Activity Day. But I could look back on my time and I felt I had accomplished a lot. Activity rose, we had a severe situation with reverence that had all but disappeared and with "my" Primary literally being close to 1/2 half Special Needs, we had things under control and the kids were feeling safe and loved. Not perfect, but definite progress.

That being said, I was approached each week I served. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a Sunday if the "weather" was bad. Someone had something negative or challenging to say about the ill functioning Primary. There were disappointments for someone and I got an earful of it every week. After a while it adds up and there are times when you wonder if any one at all notices the things you are doing correct. I spent many days crying, I prayed like never before and I struggled literally from day to day until I was released. Thor saw it as my 40+ hour a week job. It was one of the hardest tenures I have ever spent in a calling. Mainly due to lack of understanding that I was trying and working, but there are some things you must allow others to accomplish and if they fail, it fails. The Lord does not wish us to micro-manage and rule with an iron fist. It is a learning process for everyone.

This brought me into my new calling. After not attending Relief Society for several years (somewhere like 20 something!) I was called to be the Education/1st Counselor. I, after one month still don't have all the scheduling and specifics of the calling clear in my head, but again, I am trying. And again I am hearing the congratulations and warnings and complaints of those who were ahead of me in line and those with whom I work currently. It amazes me. I have been asked to be the new "saviour" and bring my co-workers to repentance and retribution!

As I have left the Primary and entered into the "adult world", I have noticed a few things within our ward. We have a terrific amount of anger towards one another and great skills at being "snarky" towards each other. If there is an open shot - we take it. If someone makes the tiniest of mistakes we make sure to point them out loud and clear. And over and again. If the Bishop or other leaders make a decision we disagree with, it doesn't matter if they have the keys of discernment or information we may not, we cause a stink about it; and then do what we think should be done on our own, disregarding the instructed course of action by the Bishop and/or leader. We split the players and go to war with words and deeds and tally up who was more "right" on the surface. When we are called and asked to discuss the quarrel or ill feelings, we feel picked on and after the talking and "resolve", we decide it is better to just go home and stay there for a few years until things change. In the meantime we can occupy our time with phone calls to gather others to our side and cause even greater dissent against the ill chosen few who are in charge.

Are we all 10 year olds? We cannot see past our own idea and think that perhaps the person in authority is or is not making a poor judgment, but it is not our place to become involved and that if their plan is or is not wrong, the Lord will indeed take care of it. We want in on every ward decision, all the planning, all the judgments, all the gossip. When it comes to following the council we are given, that is when we draw the line. We pick and choose whom we will and will not serve and sustain. We raise our hands to sustain, then at our first displeasure we face the accused and announce our withdrawal and support. We are casting stones and pebbles at every opportunity, and our aim is remarkable considering the huge beam in our eyes. We blame, pick fights, grab offence and horde ill, and we will not forgive; even when an apology has been humble and sincerely offered.

We want a fight. We want an excuse. We want to know everything that is private and none of our business. We want to pat ourselves on the back, we want the calling another has because we think we deserve it and would do a better job. We forget that everyone, including ourselves, is still learning. We forget the Lord makes calls, not man, nor person. We forget that leaders may not be perfect but they are worthy and have been set apart. Mainly and foremost, we forget that we made sacred covenants that restrict and forbid us to be pointing fingers and criticizing, gossiping and speaking ill of one another. We forget that repentance is extremely difficult and that some repairs are tremendous. We forget that we are all related via the Gospel of Christ.

Forget that old staement made by moms the world over, "Just wait until your father gets home..." If we wait until we get home to our Father, it will be too late. We are waisting time we do not have worrying about others instead of perfecting ourselves. We will be Home too soon and by then it will be too late to forgive and repair. The damage will have been done, and not to those horrid people who mess up the ward, but to ourselves.

add to sk*rt

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