Sometimes when I go to church the messages at the pulpit or elsewhere seem to jump out at me, following the train of thought where my mind is presently focused. Yesterday I found the confirmation and validation of some of life's lessons staring me in the face as I sat on the back bench of the chapel, quietly listening to the sermon.
I had walked into the late afternoon meeting feeling troubled about how utterly tired and sleepy I was after spending the previous day at soccer games, and hiking the face of the mountain. I was also feeling somewhat spiritually exhausted, almost tempted to stay home and sleep rather than catch the last sacrament meeting at the young single adult (ysa) ward near my parents' home. Skipping meetings is never something I contemplate; that I was considering it a rational option rather than going out of my way to make all of the meetings of the day was a bit worrisome, and telling of the state I was in. Had I been trying too hard the past year to understand those friends who find it extremely difficult to sit through the meetings, even the sacrament meeting, the most sacred and special meeting held? (Yes and no. Yes and no :)
My mind followed this train of thought as I walked into the chapel and sat down to join the congregation in singing the opening hymn, #27, "Praise to the Man". I continued to wonder if I was out of touch, and contemplated how it was that I had let my spirit weaken, during the blessing and partaking of the sacrament.
After the sacrament service a woman came to the pulpit and began to share a story of a strenuous yet rewarding summer in her youth, highlighting the payoff from pushing herself in the required morning exercises while others walked and didn't value that time. She wasn't expecting the morning exercises when she took the job, and didn't immediately appreciate the required exertion. However, as the training progressed, the activities during the day became increasingly arduous; the stamina and strength she had created during her morning exercises left her with energy at the end of each day to have fun out in the town. Those who were in the habit of starting out the day with a mild walk didn't have the energy for the activities after work.
And that was it. In my face. She was talking directly to me. Those were my thoughts exactly, about myself. I've been getting back into exercise, but am not yet consistent. And I haven't exactly spent much time in the sun as of late, so that was an obvious drain. My sister with five children had more energy than I; she has a small infant, and I only have myself to worry about. She wasn't out in the sun for as long, or on the hike with us the day before, but she was still out for some time--gardening and watching her children's soccer matches. She had the energy to give her children her attention, and to read them stories, while I was so tired and sleepy eyed from the activities the day before that I just didn't have the same energy or motivation. I wanted to spend some quality time with them, but ...