Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Primary Ponderation

(Yes, ponderation is a word. It’s just rarely used and I’m trying to get it into circulation. Not in circulation the way that “supposably” has now replaced the correct word “supposedly,” (which irritates me to no end, by the way) but in a good and accurate way.)

But, I digress. Now, on to the reason for this post.

Occasionally, I enjoy primary. In fact, some Sundays I really like it. (Although, some Sundays, I go home grateful that my ovaries are shriveling with age and I’m probably barren by now.)

Usually I like it because one of the kids says something that cracks me up (like when one of the girls in my class was adamant that Jesus only likes purple headbands).

But sometimes it’s because one of them says something that is so pure, or says something so purely (which I see as two different things) that it gets me thinking.

This Sunday I had two visitors. Their names were Lexi and Ian and they were adorable. While they were coloring their picture, Ian, who is four, said to me “Teacher, I love coloring because I’m an artist.” He then proceeded to have me check his handiwork about every two minutes to confirm his color selection and to Ooo and Ahh over his technique.

When I questioned him about his future goals, he just looked at me and said with his slight lisp “I’m an artistht.”

His conviction on his calling in life got me thinking.

As a child, did I ever feel like I was meant to do something?

To find the answers, I reflected back on my earliest journal.

In this journal I kept when I was 7 and 8, I write how I want to be a “poetest.” I think I meant poetess, although I’m not sure how I even knew that word.

That journal is filled with some of my earliest work. My first ode (to Ricky Schroeder). My first love poem (to B.J. of “B.J. and the Bear”). My first lament (to the misery of chicken pox).

Now, over 20 years later, I still write poetry, still read it, but I don’t identify myself as a poet and certainly haven’t made it a career choice. This got me thinking about what stopped me from being a poet. Was it just adult reality that some things are pipe dreams? Or that it was stupid and a waste of my time? Or was it the biggest culprit of all: Fear?

I’ve thought about fear a lot in the past, and the more I was thinking about myself (during primary), the more I realized that fear was and is the biggest factor for me.

Fear that what I really want I can’t do, won’t get, or don’t deserve. Fear that I’m not talented enough, smart enough, or good enough. Fear of failure. Fear that somehow Heavenly Father really doesn’t know what I need in life (because of all the things I think I need, but don’t have). Fear that if I ask Him, I’ll be disappointed or even worse, ignored. Fear that even if I ask, I’ll misinterpret the answers and screw up my life.

And after going down this fear spiral for a few minutes, I started thinking about the remedy for fear and was reminded (by the Spirit, obviously) of the scripture found in Mark 4:40 “And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”

Ah yes, fear and faith can’t exist at the same time. One has to replace the other. And it takes courage to have faith. Fear is easier.

So I then asked myself “Am I consciously replacing fear with faith, or am I letting fear keep my faith in the dark (and me groping about in gloom)?”

I then spent the rest of Sunday reflecting on these questions, and was lead to think about what I might not be doing today because of fear, and what career/school options I might not choose because of fear. What paths I don’t even look down because of fear.

You see, this is the kind of ponderation that sometimes happens to me between Popcorn Popping and Once There was a Snowman.

Be grateful you’re not in my head.

It can be exhausting…


Mz. Liz said...

Yes and yes. Primary does have that effect. I think its the bright colors actually - but my friend Mary and I were talking about the very same thing Sunday night at Brett's house. She even blogged about it and had some interesting insight on why fear is easier.( C.S. Lewis said that "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point." He pretty much rocks I think.

Gina said...

I'm not deep enough to comment on fear/faith. However, I can relate to purple headbands. Gosh I miss Primary? Was it Emma, by the way, that made that comment?

Liz said...

Liz: I agree totally with your friend's post! (And, did you know that C.S. Lewis is my spirit-world boyfriend. I just love him.)

Gina: Yep, you guessed it! Emma.

Mz. Liz said...

I think that Queen Elizabeth I was my spirit world Senior Companion/Trainer. I love love love her. And Jack is a fabulous choice.

Laura said...

I love that you're such a thinker. Makes my blog look pretty stupid when I talk about cracks in the sidewalk and my fictional TV show boyfriends. Anyway, I wonder the same types of things sometimes. Just so you know you're not alone. Not sure about the faith part at this point but know that fear stands in the way a lot. I'm going to go blog about this on my sight right now because this is going to be much too long of a comment.