Yesterday while cleaning out my room I found my list of "What Makes Me Happy?" and "What Makes Me Unhappy?" I've been successful in increasing some of the stuff from the happy list, but haven't made much headway in removing or mitigating some of the unhappy influences. On the list, I wrote the following at the bottom (I was so wise in January, what happened?): "Overarching question: What does God want me to do?"
In May, I got a new calling* in church. It's something that I would never have volunteered for, and I remain convinced that I'm pretty terrible at it, even after more than half a year of practice. But as I think about it (and pray about it), I realize it's what God wants me to do. That seems really simplistic, but it doesn't make the calling any easier, or does it help me on a practical level know what to do with the calling.
Sometimes we know the "big picture" of what God wants us to do, but he doesn't give us every stepping stone along the way. Like "being happy" we may get a broad theme but the daily decisions are left up to us. This can be incredibly frustrating or incredibly liberating. I tend to find it the former, but the decisions we make hopefully help us grow into better, kinder people. I keep waiting for the "Calling Fairy" to come tap me on the shoulder and fill me with knowledge of how to serve. It hasn't happened yet, so I keep "muddling through." As I think about goals for 2014, I'm stumped. I still want to be happy, of course, but I feel like that goal was too broad and vague for a full year.
Reading this post at the Mormon blog "By Common Consent" really touched me, especially #2 of the five goals. I think the author is right about home and visiting teaching.** I think it's key to ministering and loving others. So maybe my goal for 2014 will be to be a good visiting teacher. It's a simple, somewhat measurable goal, and I think serving others really does bring me joy. So, I'll give it a shot. More to come on some other 2014 goals in future posts.
In the meantime, what are you doing tonight to celebrate the New Year?
*"Calling" is Mormonspeak for a church responsibility - teaching, administering, or serving in any church capacity, because the Mormon church is run by volunteers at the local and regional level
**Home and visiting teaching are programs of the Mormon church whereby you are assigned to visit people who you may or may not know on a monthly basis. Your job is to serve and love them.