A time to be called, and a time to be fallow
Scene: A year and some months ago. In the bishop’s office during tithing settlement. He tells me the leadership would like to give me a calling, but have no idea to what. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. I tell him that I want to be the Relief Society pianist. It’s mine in a couple of weeks. In this case, it’s a matter of my knowing what I want, and that there is a specific need in the ward that I can fill.
Scene: A couple of weeks ago. In the bishop’s office again. I’m telling him that I need to be released as RS pianist. I can tell he’s panicking, wondering who he will be able to get to fill the spot. I feel a little sorry for him, given our impersonal but generally well-wishing relationship, but I’m also very sincere about needing to be released from the calling. I’m no longer in the same spiritual place I was a year ago, and need some latitude.
Scene: Sunday, in Relief Society. Although not yet released, they have found a sister who can do the calling. Several, actually. And I feel a great deal of peace.
I’ve been thinking about callings lately. So many different types of callings needed in order to staff a church with a lay ministry. However, even more interesting to me, are reasons why callings are given.
Callings which are for the benefit of the person called.
Callings which simply require the most skillful person available.
Callings which are made up for the sake of giving a member a calling
Callings which are so generic and simple that they just need to be delegated and performed.
Callings which leaders are inspired to give.
Callings which members are inspired to ask for.
I was mainly inspired to ask for the pianist calling by all but the 6th reason. The bishop probably had his own reasons for giving it to me, which didn’t necessarily correlate with my reasons.
Right now I find great comfort in lying fallow. I’ve never before asked to be released from a calling, and it’s a strange feeling. I’ve always just relied on my ward or stake leadership to be aware of me. Or maybe that was just my ego-centric youth. Anyway, I know what this is that I need now. And while there are certain things that are beyond my ability to obtain, this period of rest is good for me.
Do you feel it’s okay to ask for a specific calling? Have you ever lobbied for a calling? How did it go?
Do you feel it’s okay to decline a calling when it doesn’t feel right? Do you accept whatever comes your way? If so, what benefits have you seen in your life?
Have you ever been lax in a calling? What could you or others have done differently?