Choose the Wrong?
Have any of you ever found yourself saying something that you know will come back and bite you in the butt? This is me. A lot. It happens to some of us extreme extroverts who don’t actually know what we think until we say it out loud. Ready, fire, aim.
This was me two weeks ago. I was recently put in Young Women’s and was teaching the lesson on Agency, or in other words, Choose the Right. I brought in my giant size pick-up sticks and had us play as the object lesson: you can grab whatever stick you want, but you can’t choose how it will affect the other sticks. But then I noticed that the game was taking forever. The girls were so afraid of moving another stick during their turn, thus getting “out,” that they deliberated for ages before doing anything.
I think this really is like life. Sometimes there is no obvious “right” to choose. To quote Miss Frizzle of the Magic School bus, sometimes you have to just “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy.” We talked about this and it kind of freaked some of the young women out. I cited the Garden of Eden as a case in point where Adam and Eve had mutually exclusive goals and quoted Eve’s beautiful testimony to them: “Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.”
That scripture is a wonderful illustration that sometimes it is through our errors that we learn and are blessed the most. A new beehive raised her hand with a confused look on her face, “So what you’re saying is that we should sin on purpose?” My favorite laurel came to my defense, “No, Heather’s saying that sometimes it’s best to choose the wrong. Isn’t that right?”
All eyes on me and I picture them going home and answering that Sunday parent question, “So sweetie, what did you learn in church today?” “CTW!!!” “Sin rocks!” “Mistakes are a girl’s best friend.” But I remember being paralyzed by fear of wrong choice, thinking that avoiding sin was the same thing as living righteously, thinking that if I had to repent it meant I was failing. I want better for these girls. I want them to live boldly and know that mistakes aren’t the big issue, it’s what you DO about your mistakes that counts.
So I took a deep breath, and bore my testimony to these wonderful, good good girls that it really is okay to screw up. We finished the game of pick-up sticks and to my delight, they didn’t always try for the safest stick but took some chances and cheered each other on. And to the credit of their parents, so far I haven’t gotten any concerned phone calls. My next lesson is on “The Sacred Power of Procreation.” Maybe I should make little book marks that say, “Sex is great! But it’s better to wait!”