Many of us have been told that no matter what the calling you have, you will learn from it and grow. I imagine that’s probably true of just about anything that you do. So, what have you learned from the various callings you’ve held?
In November, I was called as the nursery leader. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned so far:
- Nursery kids have a 5 minute attention span in December and a 5 second attention span in January (when the oldest kids age up to Sunbeams). Life lesson: Mentors can have a positive effect on us.
- A kid’s tolerance for having his nose wiped is inversely proportionate to his need to have it wiped. Life lesson: We often fight against the thing we need most.
- A freshly soiled diaper actually puts off a lot of heat. If you see steam rising from a child’s backside, chances are it’s time to get a parent. Life lesson: Crap happens. And you don’t have to see something bad to know that it’s there.
- The longer you spend in the nursery, the less you are able to detect the odor I call “nursery stink.” But it is a scent that clings to your clothes and hair, like walking through a casino. Life lesson: The longer we stay in a situation, the more immune we become to it. We can lose perspective and self-awareness.
- Play-doh is nearly impossible to extract from carpet, but it’s totally worth it because of its power to captivate toddlers’ attention. Life lesson: You have to make trade-offs in life, and sometimes what’s expedient is a moment of peace and quiet.
- Seminary kids are actually messier than nursery kids in terms of stains on the carpet from food (our nursery room doubles as a seminary room during the week). Life lesson: Don’t assume that older means wiser. Or more responsible. Or neater.
- Nursery is a great place for adults to hang out and socialize during SS or RS/PH. Life lesson: We’re at church to enjoy our relationships with one another and to support each other.
- Everything is edible. Life lesson: Being open minded is usually good, but not always. Oh, and get that out of your mouth, you don’t know where it’s been!
- Kids who have a hard time adjusting eventually just “get it.” One week they are screaming their heads off with snot bubbles bursting and a string of saliva from their lip to the floor, and the next week, they are happily playing with a doll or truck, not bothered when another kid chest-bumps them to the floor or steamrolls them with the toy car. Life lesson: Maybe that’s how it works with all of us–we have our moments, but then we just feel differently and get over it.
- If you go to church long enough, eventually you do it all: the good, the bad, and the nursery. Life lesson: What goes around comes around in life. There’s a season to be the stinker who gets sniffed out, and a season to sniff out the stinkers.
That’s what I’ve learned so far. But I’m sure there’s more in store. This is probably the most challenging calling I’ve had in terms of finding some sort of personal edification thereby.
How about you? What callings have you held that taught you the most? Were any of the things you learned unexpected? What are your favorite callings? What callings did you find most inspired? Discuss.