It's not usual for me to be writing a blog post on a Sunday morning, and I most definitely will not be making a habit out of it. Sunday mornings are, quite literally, holy to me and I normally spend them at church. Unfortunately I am sick at the moment. Some weird fever hit me yesterday and is sticking around for reasons unknown.
Lately church has become something of a challenge for me for a few reasons. First because we have moved out of our regular building because it needed renovation. Each Sunday we now meet in a local High School where we have to set everything up every Sunday again. It's not a very 'spiritual' place and the logistics of meeting there are awkward and not helping the reverence (something our ward wasn't too good at to begin with).
Then I was asked to serve in the Primary (to work with the children for 2 hours each Sunday, on voluntary basis) and however much I love children, my first thought when I got this calling was "It's not enough that I have to deal with my kids all week, I also have to deal with everyone else's on Sundays?". 'Unfortunately' I have a mother who has always set the example of willingness to accept most any calling she received, and I couldn't think of a solid reason to say no.
Then something else occurred to me.
I love going to church. I go because I want to and so does my family. I've never made my husband go, he actually really wants to be there as well. Of course we make our children go sometimes because they are too young to stay home but if that becomes a real issue for them at some point I will encourage them to use their own free agency wisely and decide for themselves. Because my decision to go to church is so actively my own, I have to try to get out of what I can, and if there is one thing I have learned over and over again (regularly the hard way) it's that I always get more out of church when I adopt an attitude of reverence and service. I am there to grow spiritually and I can only do that when I am quietly serving the Lord and opening my heart to whatever he wants me to hear that day. When I spend my Sunday waiting for what others are going to do for me and my family, I am usually sorely disappointed. Mainly because with those expectations I won't even notice what people are actually doing for me, I am blinding myself with them. When I adopt a reverse attitude, the amount of love and joy that fills my heart is enough to last me the rest of the week. Also, when I go to church worrying about what others think of me, or judging the people around me for how they live their lives or act on Sundays, church simply becomes a burden.
So I have been struggling with these things lately, but I am grateful that I at least have a comprehension of how to win the struggle. Perfection is far, far, far away from me and it's an uphill climb, but I'm getting there one step at a time.
I'm a little wary posting all of this. I know a lot of the people who read this are in no way religious, and I don't want to use this blog as a platform for my beliefs. Having said that, my faith is the cornerstone of my life and I would be a hypocrite to omit it entirely from this place. Also I like to think that anybody I consider a friend is someone who doesn't care about things like religious differences.
All images are by amazing photographer Akos Major.
Have a lovely week everyone, I think I'll go lie down again now.