Sometimes It Really Is Desperation Rather Than Inspiration. But So What? A Guest Post by RustyOctober 21, 2007
You got us. You’re right. Not all the callings we in the bishopric extend to you are revealed to us directly from the mouth of God. In fact, they’re not even all revealed to us with warm fuzzies. Of course we always start our meetings in prayer asking for the Spirit to guide us in our decisions and we often pray about a specific person or specific calling, but like other aspects of our lives, just because we pray for something doesn’t mean we always get it.
Now don’t get me wrong, we are often led by the Spirit to specific people, sometimes more strongly than others. But if you’re picturing a Brother of Jared-style encounter with God’s fingers pointing to our lists of members and callings, then you’re mistaken, we aren’t organized enough to have lists. ZING! The reality is that your lives are complicated. Sometimes you are willing to serve; sometimes you aren’t worthy; sometimes you’re too busy; sometimes you have anxiety; and sometimes you’d prefer a different calling. Some of you are building your testimonies, some of you are losing yours. Some of you hate kids but love teaching; some of you fear public speaking but love the youth; some of you have talents you don’t even know about.
Now multiply this by 150 ward members.
The inherent complexity of administrating a ward full of real people with real issues requires many decisions. At any one of our weekly bishopric meetings we have to make between 15-50 decisions (that affect some aspect of the ward) and I still always feel like our heads are barely above water.
What do we base those decisions on? Prayer. Discussion. Personal insight. Brief interactions. Discussion. Anecdotes. Prayer. Meditation. Discussion. And hopefully we have the Spirit to guide us in all of this.
And then there’s desperation.
There are times when the Primary President is breathing down our neck and our first two choices for the position are unavailable for reasons stated above and now we’ve got to just fill the position and God isn’t indicating to us which one of the three people on our list we should call, so we have to just make a decision. So we do.
Now, there are two forces at work here, 1) God determining who would best fill a need and 2) the bishopric determining who would best fill a need. It’s nice to believe God called you because you can be assured that there is a profound reason behind it. I’ll let you in on a little secret, when the bishopric calls you out of desperation, there’s also a profound reason behind it, and it’s usually probably the same as Gods: there are people who need to be served.