Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pro Activity And The Mediocre Sunday School Lesson

As you can imagine, I have a hard time sitting still in Sunday school. Even with a lovely Christmas decoration and poster pictures depicting the lessons high points my mind tends to wander.
Part of my problem lies in the fact that I am helpless as ...a really helpless thing without a diet coke in my hand. I have, in the past, tried to remedy this by keeping a flask in my suit pocket. My wife nipped this in the butt, which more definitive that in the bud - believe me.
I then tried a tube sneaking out from a briefcase and then from a Utah Jazz cap. No, and no.  I think I will need to resign myself to be at peace with a lidded cup & straw kept under my chair and suffer through the strange looks coming my way.
Today’s lesson was on eternal marriage - always a tricky subject. Except today’s teacher bypassed the tricky and went straight for oblivious which may mean that she actually was, but I will touch on that can of worms later on. I found myself bristling a time or two, and I don’t know why.
As liberals go, I am not so liberal. I have always called myself a closet conservative. So, when they speak of families being forever, that a marriage is between a man and a woman, That the holy spirit of promise seals a couple if they are worthy. These things I understand. As a long term Mormon I have the rhetoric down. Not only do I know the words, I know the feelings and a general understanding behind them.

And here I sit, bristling.

This lesson – universal for December whatever-today-is will fly in Utah and in parts of Idaho and Arizona. Anywhere else it will veer to the right into a no fly zone and self destruct. I suppose I am sensitive to the plight of those who don’t quite fit into a common, standard mail box.
I don’t want God to change his plan to suit me or my friends who don't fit in. I don’t need the lesions to alter or natural laws to re configure. However I do need the points of view to widen to an acceptance of others on its most basic scale regardless of ones situation, background or prospects.

The woman leading the lesson was single – I know this because she stated such. She broke down into tears as she mentioned that she did not have children to be sealed to (eternal families being the point of the lesion.) There seemed to be two general sentiments expressed by the class, the old and the young alike at her revelation. The first, and the greatest by terms of numbers and volume was “ Oh, how sad – you should find something to get you by this life until the next one starts." I call it the get a hobby approach: your life is hopeless, so find something to do. 

The next sentiment is one I don’t see much, but one I greatly prefer.

Specifically put, for this woman teaching the lesson, you don’t have a family – yet. God’s time is not our time. This is the way of the hopeful, the faithful, the proactive – not necessarily a Mormon word, but one of my favorite.

A case in proacticity as a point: A friend of mine took his truck and his son out in the woods to collect, you know…wood. Fire wood. He backed in to his favorite spot and got his truck compleatly stuck in the mud. They tried most of the day to get it out to no avail. They decided that they could either sit and wait for rescue, or get busy loading the truck with wood. The choose to be proactive. They choose to do something. In the end after the truck was loaded and it was becoming very cold, they decided to give it one more go. The truck bounded out of the ruts and practically muscled its way to dry road with a cord or two of freshly chopped wood. The weight of the wood had given it all the traction it needed. Doing something when it seemed hopeless gave them the push.

Now to what may seem a hopeless situation for some of us: Single people, the widowed folk, SGAttracted, both dudes and dudettes, and anyone not fitting into the “Married with children” category (and that’s a lot of people)...

Rejoice!   Christ came to redeem us all.  We came down to be like the father, and the time will come when we will be able to make a run at our goals full force.  That time will be, again, in gods time.  In respect full prayer - ask him what that means for you.  You will be glad you did.

For me, that is the real miracle of Christmas:  Having the opportunity to create my own family.


  1. Sunday School is hard for me. Often it is done in such a trite way I end up gritting my teeth. WHay cant people be a bit more real?

  2. Sunday School is always quite ho hum for me. I never thought of bringing a flask into the meeting, so thanks for this wonderful idea! Even though I don't drink alcohol, just the novelty of the idea makes me want to try and make this meeting more exciting! Another good Idea that I've found is to get ahold of the Sunday School teacher's email address, and shoot him a note about your true feeling of SGA about every class! It's amazing at how much he is willing to relate this to the lesson in email and seemingly at any time, including the meeting. Maybe in the future, we might want to consider Webcam Sunday School, that way, it would be more real, cuz you could say things that otherwise might not be so unconservative

  3. Haha, I had a hard time understanding your blog at first when you talked about the 'lesion,' and I wonder if it is a consistent typo, or if you feel that the specific lesson on eternal marriage should be considered a lesion and not a lesson.

    I also had to laugh about your flask. I have always wanted to keep a flask full of Listerine. Not so much because I have a bad case of bad breath all of the time, but because you always run into that one old guy in the hall who seems to knock the spirit out of you when he wants to converse.

    My wife won't let me either.

  4. Mike, thanks for the heads up with lesion/lesson. At least it was not as bad as the gentiles/genitals debacle of 2005