This past week seems to have an air of discontentment. The full moon was rising to a crest two nights ago. Mercury is in "Retrograde", and lots of people are feeling down and depressed, neglected and ignored. I really don't fully understand how the solar systems work, but I'm sure this is something important that somebody understands!
Over the course of the last year, our Stake Presidency has encouraged our stake to come up with a "Family Mission Plan". They stress its inspiration, and encourage us to prayerfully make a plan to better share the gospel (church) with those around us. Our family is to create some achievable goals, prayerfully of course. During several meetings with the missionaries, I tended to resist these efforts due to my own personal feelings at the time, but in the last few weeks I decided, eh, what the heck? After all, aren't we here to experience the journey of working with other people to improve ourselves? If not, God surely could've put us each on a world with one other human to figure out if we'd like to be alone, together, procreate, whatever. But he didn't. We're all here together, smushed to the point where we often try to avoid one another.
About two weeks ago, I decided I was going to put my best foot forward and try to get to know some of the strangers surrounding me. I was going to host a Norwex microfiber cloth party for my friend who sells the stuff. I sell doTERRA, and after teaching endless classes the last four months, I was ready to gather my own friends and not have to teach! I did a Facebook invite, then filled out cards and hand delivered them to neighbors, friends, and family. I said, "Please come. You don't have to buy anything, I just want to hang out with my friends, (or in the case of neighbors, get to know them better) and wanted something to do since I don't do board games very well. We'll have a campfire if the weather's good, we can swim in the pool, or just hang out and chat." I also didn't have money to put on a large, extravagant dinner, so this seemed like a harmless idea, and Norwex is virtually unheard of in these parts. This was going to be my missionary moment, not to convert anyone, but simply just to get to know people better, and feel a spirit of brother/sisterly love more readily in our neighborhood. After all, when the crap hits the fan, you want to at least have a feel for who's going to be knocking on your door for help (or whatever good or bad scenario you can come up with).
Some of my neighbors took the card; some of them declined, and then took it after I asked them to think about it. My church friends took it and didn't really respond with a "Oh yeah, sounds like a party!" It was more like a "Gee... thanks?" I got one "yes" RSVP. The rest were maybes, a few nos, and mostly no response whatsoever (which I think is kinda ruder than just saying no thanks).
I guess this is what the world has come to, when friendly people can only get together when their church requires it of them twice or thrice a week. Or if free food is involved. We can hardly look at one another in the hall after church, we are so eager to leave the building. We can't join one another for meals, unless they're in the ward building. I literally have a hard time even squeezing out a "hello" from half the people I pass in the hall. Is there something wrong with me?
On the flip side of the coin, today I actually feel disinclined to say hello to one sister, after a recent call where she told me about a church activity and refused to let me even get a word in edgewise. Why would I want to talk to her, when the only "communication" going on was from her to me? Is this what brothers and sisters and friends and neighbors should look like?
Well, my "party" only had one guest, besides me, my mom (whom I co-hosted with), and my Norwex friend. The one guest attends my church, so I'm not sure that that counts as a "missionary moment". I hope we strengthened one another though, and I say that in the truest sense. I had never had the chance to have her in my home, and it was truly a joy to get to laugh and visit with her, without the pulling of kids and 50 other adults like we have at typical church functions. So that was good.
When it was all said and done, I did a lot of pondering. What was the point, in me walking invitations to several neighbors? Do they live in the country because they like being left alone? Probably. And will I invite them to my home again? Mmm, likely not. This was a stretch for me, and I'm pretty confident that we haven't been that social with one another for a reason. They don't want to associate with the Mormon on the street, so whatever. Maybe it has nothing to do with Mormonism, and as a whole, we're just plain tired and want to rest when we can rest. Who knows.
So what was the point? Beyond that, I've been searching for years on various blogs to find like minded individuals who I can chat with about things I've learned, dug for, and felt inspired about. I am grateful my loving Father has quietly guided me to some real gems, but once again, I feel many are much like the neighbors. They do their thing (writing) but really seem to prefer to be left alone. Do I want to associate with them? Am I seeking something by attempting to become friends with strangers? Or am I trying to prepare for something greater? I hope that's the case.
When it comes down to it, during the full moon, post-Norwex-party, mid-Mercury-Retrograde, I think God would likely prefer it that I turn to Him, and turn off the computer, the TV (for my kids), quit frazzling myself with church and in-home parties, and crack open the scriptures. When I feel most like this, the neon signs seem to blink vividly that I have lost touch with my Maker. Shut it all down, Jen. Go to the Source. That's where true happiness, even true friendship is found. It's obvious that even with our best human intentions, it will never be enough.
Happy Father's Day to the only "best" Father in the Universe. <3 Trying to be a more connected daughter. And Happy Father's Day to the men trying to emulate Him.