Let No One Shirk

I don't know if this is a Utah problem - having spent my life here, save four consecutive months - or local, or maybe even worldwide.  I've only become aware of it over the last few years. And all I can define it as is shirking responsibility.

I see it most in connection with Church callings, i.e. the "undesirable" ones. Scouts. Nursery. Primary.  Parents are perfectly happy to drop their 2-year-old off for two hours and pick them up without even a "how was he?" (when I've spent all that time keeping him from giving another kid a concussion.)  They'll send their three boys to cub scouts each week but declare they will NEVER teach cub scouts to anyone who might listen (or ask them to).
Excuse me?

I understand the need for a break from your kids, believe me.  I'd love to toss my kids at someone else for an hour or two every week!  I'd even like to have a calling where I didn't have to bring them along with me.  But I'm sorry, if you're a parent, you have a never-ending responsibility.  And if you are slacking at church then someone else is picking up that slack.  The less you do, the more you leave for someone else (however willing they may be).  Please don't assume that it's easy for them, that they just love what they do and/or have a natural gift for it.  They may very well be having a harder time than you.

Gosh, they may go home and eat all the junk food in their cupboard and then have a good cry before falling asleep on the couch.  You just don't know.


Tay said...

My favorite is when they call women to nursery when they're pregnant. because they are the first ones to say yes after along about 8 others. I hope the ones who said no feel guilty when that happens. :) I know, church has taught me a lot, obviously. I'd much rather be in primary than my current 'high profile' calling. Please, put me back in nursery! I'll even do sunbeams! Kids are way more fun than adults.

Linnea said...

The worst to me is that I keep getting called to children-watching callings as a young married childless person. Because obviously I'm just dying to spend my Sundays babysitting everyone else's children, seeing as I have none of my own.

I actually think that's why young couples often end up becoming less active - they are always sticking up in primary and such. We really didn't know any adults in our last Utah ward - not even the parents of our primary kids. I couldn't even tell you who they were.

I'll be honest, I did nothing for my calling in our ward in Virginia. Two weeks after we moved in, they stuck me in scouts. With 16 bears (I think it was? 9-year-olds.) I went to a pack meeting, was put in with ALL the scouts while the parents and other leaders met, and it was the most exhausting thing ever. None of them would listen to me, didn't know who I was, I had worked a full day and hadn't had dinner yet and was completely exhausted. We had just moved from where we had been in our Primary calling, and by golly, I was ready for some actual adult interaction at church. I should have turned the calling down when they asked me, but I have a hard time doing that.

Anyhow, my job required me to work so many evenings that I never could make it and actually did go and ask to be released, which they said they would and I don't think they ever did.

So to finish up my soapbox, I wish they'd take into account who has just recently been in a taxing calling like that, and be mindful of how hard it is. If you're in Primary, you are there EVERY WEEK, unlike teaching Relief Society or something where you teach once a month. It's a whole different ballgame.

Jean said...

So ... it's not a Roos problem. :)
My sis just got called to cub scouts (pregnant with her 5th) after several other people (scout MOMS) turned it down. I do hope they feel guilty!
After 3 years in Wolf scouts I've become disenchanted with the scout program itself. No one wants to do it, and with all the legality issues I spend half my prep time doing paperwork. Two deep leadership for my troop sometimes means more leaders than boys! It's frustrating.
Anyway, Leia, I hear you. Young couples are great in Primary but they shouldn't be stuck there permanently. NO ONE should. It's too bad that Primary is at the bottom of the totem pole - every other organization can yank from them, but not vice versa. Especially when, like you said, a RS calling might be leading a 40-min discussion once a month, instead of teaching kids for 2 hours each Sunday.

amy morgan said...

It's not just a Roos problem. I believe the underlying problem state wide is that it is a forgotten principle that these callings actually do not come FROM the bishop... only through him. Even nursery and cubs. The ball that's being dropped was thrown by Heavenly Father. How do you explain that one away? "The sun was in my eyes"?!
Hang in there! You're doing your best and you'll be able to tell Him that when he asks ;)

The Wintertons said...

I agree that its important to remember that all callings come from our Heavenly Father. And what you or I may see on the surface (in relation to others) very well may not be what's going on. I also think its important to remember that all callings, even scouts and nursery, serve a divine purpose. We may not receive a lot of credit and thanks but we may not give it as much as we think either. I honestly believe that people don't intend NOT to give credit where credit is due although a simple thank you goes a long way and I believe we all need to say it more frequently. We can only control our attitudes and not the attitudes and actions of other individuals. The greatest gift we can give others is our love and compassion. I can see where your frustration is coming from and I'm sorry you feel this way. I am one of the moms of one of the probably more troublesome nursery kids that you attend to and I DO APPRECIATE YOUR WILLINGNESS to serve!! I apologize that I do not tell you more often! Keep your head up and try to remember who's hands you are truly being!

Malissa and Gershom said...

I'm sorry, nursery definitely isn't easy. I know I had a hard time being in there, and I think sometimes just having a good friend in there to talk to and get a little bit of adult conversation makes it easier. It would be nice if they could switch nursery leaders between sunday school and relief society. I really do appreciate you for watching Ayda each Sunday and I look up to you for coming to church by yourself some sundays, you are awesome. As for scouts, I don't know if it was pregnancy or what but it really gave me anxiety. It's not an easy calling either. I know that our callings come from the Lord and that we should do our best but if you are struggling with it or find it hard to handle, I think its completely find to voice it to the bishop and see what can be done. Let me know if you ever need my help in nursery during relief society.

Jean said...

Just waded through my 45 emails after being gone for 5 days and found more comments! Sweet.
I don't mind my callings, I really don't, even though some days are hard. I just get really irked when I hear of other people turning down the same callings I just accepted, for reasons like "I've done my time" and "I'm with my 5 year old all week, I can't teach 5 yesr olds!" Because, really?