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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Just Barely Enough Faith to Stumble into Church Today. . .

I had just barely enough faith to stumble into Church today, but I'm sure glad I did. I almost skipped Church completely in order to get caught up with work. But I knew I had made the right choice just moments after I sat down on a pew (after PEC meeting), when a member of the Stake High Council asked me if I was going to join him on the stand. "Why?" I asked. "Because you're speaking with me today," he said as he pointed to the program, showing my name as one of two speakers. Oh, right - I then remembered a past hallway conversation in which I did agree to be a co-speaker with him in June - but in my rush, I had failed to write it down and promptly forgot the commitment.

I actually had much of a talk ready, partly due to some excellent material from Elder Enzio Busche's marvelous book, Yearning for the Living God, which I had with me (along with a couple other books, as usual). The talk on faith in Christ went reasonably well. Much better than being a no-show.

Work burdens have been quite high recently, though largely self-imposed, I'll admit. I felt a real need to get some urgent work done this weekend. However, to help my wife in her calling with the Stake Primary, much of my time was needed for the Stake 11-Year-Old Campout Friday and Saturday. I took a half day of vacation on Friday, and nearly all my Saturday was eaten up by the camp (dreams of getting some work done at camp or getting out early on Saturday remained mere dreams) - though I really enjoyed it, especially the workshop I taught on identifying plants (mostly edible plants). I was seriously contemplating skipping Church entirely on Sunday, due to my oxen in the mire.

Sure, I had released the beasts in the vicinity of large mud hole that I created myself, but they were definitely in the mire, and I could so easily rationalize my absence today. But then I realized that I needed to worship my Savior more than I needed to go the extra mile for work (though there are times when the ox in the mire is real and cannot be ignored). I'm so grateful that my faith was just barely strong enough to get me through the doors to Church.

2 comments:

Bro. Brandon B. said...

Jeff,
I'm glad that you went to church! I know some people who have difficult schedules and stuggle with weekly attendance. I work nights (midnight - 0800) with Tuesdays and Wednesdays off - this makes my regular sleep schedule from about 0830 (AM) to 0400 (AM) on every day but Sunday. This week, I spend all day Friday and Saturday helping with a friends wedding in the Washington D.C. Temple, and their ring ceremony, and their reception. All in all, in 72 hours of weekend I only slept for 3 hours before I went to church because of long night driving and work, etc... yet I made it to the first (Sacrament) block anyways to friends amazement. I never regret missing out on sleep, but I always regret missing out on church - which is why I always go!

Ezra Child said...

Jeff,

"I feel your pain". So often both my wife and I have each found reasons to justify skipping church (almost weekly), or even just portions of it. At the time of the discussion it always seems well justified (even when we too have pushed our own oxen in the mire). One thing we are learning is, we have NEVER regretted showing up in spite of it all.

There always seems to be one or two people who have been inspired and have said something in a lesson or a talk we just needed to hear. We often walk into the doors dragging ourselves and our screaming kids (probably during the sacrament prayer). We however, always walk out at the end of those 3 hours envigerated, and just beaming. Afterwards we usually remark to one another just how glad we were that we decided to go after all.

It never fails to impress me just how the Lord allows the Spirit to lift you up spiritualy and physically. How wise He is to have insituted this once a week meeting. It truly carries us through the rest of the week (and probably gives us enough energy to push our oxen in the mire once again by Saturday night).