What if the scriptures read as follows:
And I, Nephi, was commanded to build a boat, and did wait for the Lord to drop off the tools. The end.
Rachel used this in her lesson a few weeks ago. Think about it: If Nephi, Noah, and the like did not take the initiative to "build" their future as commanded by the Lord, we wouldn't have scriptures. Everyone would have just died out there in the wilderness, and the story would be over. But they didn't wait for God to provide everything first; they were given a commandment and then did whatever it took to make things happen.
I kind of wonder if maybe I haven't been doing a little "sitting, wishing, waiting" in my o-so busy and full life. Sure, I SAY I'm finally willing to consider a "time and all eternity" relationship- but have I DONE anything about it? Or do I simply shrug and say, "well, when the right guy comes along, I'm sure I'll be ready," or, "if I met anyone special, I'm sure I'd be able to commit then!" and, "I'm sure there's somebody somewhere out there for me. I just need to let him find me." You know you've said the same things. We all do. Every week, about Sunday afternoon, when we choose to come home instead of suffering another linger longer, dessert party, birthday party, or movie night, we think, "gosh- it really would be nice to be dating somebody, buuuuut..." and we run out the door to the next big event.
Now, I'm not shy. I can't imagine how insurmountable this multitude of social activities must be for those of you who are. But I'm out there. Shaking hands, kissing babies, and offering my digits to any poor soul who will have it. But has it made any difference in my relationship status beyond the delightful title of being "a really fun girl" who gets invited to every FUN outing on the market? I'm not complaining; I'm not. I am SO flattered that people would think to have me along and I absolutely love camping, boating, partying, and eating anything somebody else has so kindly cooked. But over-socializing has not brought me any closer to accomplishing this "goal" of a serious, if not terminal, relationship. Which is, apparently, what I'm supposed to be looking for.
Lately I've begun to wonder if all this fun is the problem. If it's become my excuse for not dating. That was certainly the case when I was in college. Many times, if I ever did have a date, the poor sucker would surely end up getting ditched by 10pm, so I could reconvene with my buddies, finish off their leftover pizza, and watch The Crocodile Hunter. But that was over 10 years ago. What's my excuse now?
I attend all the meetings which I should attend. I go to every ward activity sponsored, even the ones that make me feel completely juvenile, because that's what you do when you sustain your leaders, right? In 15 years of membership, I have never "ward-hopped" and always fulfilled my callings with great gusto. I fellowship, I am friendly, and I always try to invite strangers to social events. What more could possibly be expected of me? Part of me realizes that perhaps I've had it all wrong. Maybe I've been too devoted. Too faithful to the LDS-singles socializing scene. Here I thought I was going to church to study the gospel, but the point of a single's ward was to get me married off! How naive I have been! While I was busy fellowshipping, the smart kids were flirting. While I worried about entertaining everyone and providing equal attention to inclusion of all members, the socially savvy members were making their marks. And when I was busy inviting new members to activities, everyone who knew better was busy pairing off. A perfect example:
At the funnest ward dance ever (not that I've been to any others lately), I ran into SEVERAL genuinely interesting and extremely attractive men not from our ward, and had such great conversations with each. Of course, every. single. time, in the middle of talking, a fantastic, unignorable song came on and I had to stop, briefly explaining, "I am so sorry, I SO want to keep talking to you...But I absolutely MUST dance to this song! Bye!" I mean, it was a DANCE. I was there to DANCE. I figured if anyone was interested in finishing the conversation, we could do it when the music wasn't so danged hot. Needless to say, I'm not in touch with a single one of those guys, but boy, did my friends and I ever have a blast.
So here I am. Alone. Again. When I ran into a former "adult" leader shortly after my last bad breakup, she looked at me sincerely and sympathetically and asked, "Have you tried going online?" Tearfully, I scoffed at her suggestion, and insisted that (while things were bad) it wasn't THAT bad! Six months later, I see her sweet face in my mind and think, "if faith without works is dead, where does that put me?" I say I have the faith, but am I doing enough? Sure, I go out a lot...but maybe I'm going out too much, with too many people, too often. Maybe I'm paying too much attention making sure everyone feels special, so no one person gets attention. And the whole time, I'm thinking, "well, if he wanted me, he'd do something about it." Until someone's man enough to demand my undivided time and attention, aren't I doing a good job of representing Christ in fellowshipping His children? ALL His children?
I hate the idea of "looking out for #1," and I hate the idea of my church experience becoming my social experience, but if my way isn't right, does that make me wrong? At what point does practicing faith translate into doing enough to get the job done? I mean, yes- it's a man's responsibility to do the asking, but is there something more women should be doing to make that happen? Because I thought I was being as friendly as I could without following somebody home...
I'll do what you want me to do, dear Lord, but I'm also waiting for you to drop off all the tools and instructions for me to accomplish our goals. What would have happened if our prophets of old had said such a thing? As Rachel said so plainly, "The story would be over." I'm not ready for my story to be over. I do have faith. But as far as my works go...If you have any suggestions for an absurdly outgoing girl who really, really likes getting to know people, I'm open to suggestions. Because so far, all I've done is make a lot of friends who eventually leave me for relationships.