Church isn’t boring for me very often lately. It’s not because the speakers and teachers have dramatically improved since a few years ago when I was bored more often. Nor is it because I have suffered brain damage that leaves me very easily amused : ) Partly the kids in my primary class keep me hopping, but partly I’m looking for different things now than I used to look for.
Nowadays it is rare for someone at church to say something that really changes how I think about the gospel, really makes me feel like I learned something about the gospel in general. There are some very insightful people in my ward, but rather than saying insightful things, they are usually taking care of their kids, or serving in a calling that engages their kind hearts more than their intellects. Still, every time my brothers and sisters open their mouths, I learn something about them. And I think it is just as worthwhile, even perhaps more worthwhile in the long run, for me to understand them and their faith, as it is for me to understand the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets. Because I am called to serve them. I am called to bear their burdens, and comfort them when they need comfort (Mosiah 18).
Besides the glorious, abstract story of the plan of salvation, there is this complex, often murky, usually somewhat tedious story about how all kinds of different actual people grope through the darkness toward the iron rod, and thence, upstream through the river, eventually to the tree of life, and sometimes stay and sometimes leave. And that is the story of God’s work, too. I want to understand it, so I try to listen. When someone says with feeling something that I have heard a few hundred times, I think, “Huh, how is this principle living for them this week, when it isn’t for me?” When someone says something clearly false, I think, “Wow, what led that person to think that!” and often there is kind of a good reason. Funny thing is, the mistakes are just about as important a part of the story of salvation as the successes.
A sparrow doesn’t fall without God noticing; how much more important are each of his human children? I don’t have God’s attention span, but I don’t get bored as much as I used to.