Every couple of months or so, I like to visit Chris’s church.
We are both very happy with our chosen religions are are not out to convert each other at all.
But we also know that we are welcome at each other’s churches anytime.
This past Sunday, I went to his church. My ward has these special programs every quarter where they invite tons of visitors from around Southern California and it’s kind of overwhelming for me, so I usually skip it.
Chris has his kids every weekend and they are very happy at their church. They love it. But this past weekend, his daughter had had a sleepover with a friend and went to church with her family instead.
When Chris and I arrived, we were in the lobby chatting with a very nice lady. She asked where his daughter was and he explained. She asked what church they went to and he didn’t actually know. So then she told us about a time, recently, when her son asked to go to church with a friend of his and she let him go. When he came home he said, “Mom, Mormon Church is SO MUCH FUN!” She looked slightly panicked and I had to suppress a laugh. She didn’t know that I’m a Mormon. And I didn’t want to make things awkward by telling her. So I didn’t. It was just kind of funny.
Anyway, we walked around, saying hello to Chris’s mom, who was working in the infant room, and picking out donuts at the cafe before wandering upstairs to the empty balcony to snag our preferred spot.
The Worship Team started singing. That part is always a little strange to me. The LDS church service is very quiet. We have an organ and sing hymns. We don’t have guitars and drums and rock out. But this particular Worship Team is pretty good and I just go with it. It’s not like I have a problem with the music or anything. It’s just different. And loud.
And then the pastor came to the stage to speak.
I’m always fascinated by this.
Because, again, the LDS church does things differently. Our congregation is led by a Bishop, but he doesn’t speak every Sunday. In fact, in the six months that my current Bishop has been there, I don’t think I’ve ever actually heard him speak to us.
(Granted, I don’t go to my ward every week, and it’s very likely that he has spoken and I just missed that day.)
Instead, speakers are selected from the congregation each week and (usually) assigned topics to speak on for about 15 minutes each.
It’s totally fine for some people, but completely nerve-wracking for many others.
Anyway, so the Pastor got up to speak.
(I used to wonder how a pastor or minister or reverend could think of things to say every single week and never run out of topics. And then I started a blog.)
Pastor Todd is a likable guy. He’s charismatic and kind and friendly. Exactly what you would want in a pastor, I’m sure. The handful of times I’ve listened to him speak, I’ve enjoyed it. I don’t see things 100% the same way he does. Our beliefs are a little bit different. But I always find that I can learn something from him and I appreciate that.
His message on Sunday, though, really hit home for me.
It was strange. I used to think (not recently, but many years ago) I was doing something “wrong” by missing my church to go to another. But these days, I know that I can receive inspiration and edification from many different sources. And this particular day, I felt like I was meant to be in that congregation and not at my own ward.
The message was about finding the Sweet Spot. That perfect place in your life where your passions and abilities connect and you find a way to share that with people that can be positively impacted by it. Whether it be in business or volunteer work or whatever. The point in life is to find a way to unite those three things. And when you do that, you’ll find your true purpose.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. Particularly when it comes to this never-ending job search. Because, as anxious as I am to replace my current employment with something closer to home, I also don’t want to leave for just any job that comes along. I want to feel fulfilled if I’m giving them 40 hours of my time every week. I want to get something out of it besides just a steady paycheck.
And so, ever since Sunday I’ve been trying to really think about those things. What AM I passionate about? What are my talents? And how can I merge those together to earn a living and find fulfillment at the same time?
I don’t have an answer yet. I’m sure this will take some time to figure out.
But I’m working on it.
I don’t know yet where this journey will take me. But I feel like I’m heading toward something worthwhile. And I’m excited to get there.
I don’t normally share these kinds of things, but the message is posted on YouTube. You can watch it here if you’re interested.