Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blog Prompt 1

This week's random prompt seemed to be a no-brainer.
 I was relieved to pull one that was fairly straightforward and easy to answer. It wasn't going to require any soul searching or deep thought, I would just answer the question and consider it done and I would feel good about having finally begun this challenge.
I answered it on Friday. As I often do with longer posts, I slept on it to see if I still felt like it was the right thing to post the next day.
It wasn't.
So, I answered it again on Sunday, slept on it and...delete.
I answered it again yesterday and....nope. It's not right.
The prompt:

What religion did your parents and grandparents practice?

As I've written and erased three blog posts answering this, I realized what the problem is for me.
I enjoy talking about my faith and my belief system. It brings me happiness, a sense of purpose and a strength. I have a very strong testimony of the church, and even in times when I had decided I wasn't going to be a part of the church any more, I still had that testimony. What I lacked was faith in the Savior's love, I lacked an understanding of the atonement on it's most basic level and I lacked faith in my own soul or self confidence.

Those things are sometimes as powerful as a hurricane, sometimes they are as weak as a breath.
They are always things that don't come easy and always are things that you have to want and strive for, they don't just happen by chance. I think I've been lucky and blessed, I think my feet were guided to the right place at the right time often in my life. I don't think I am smart or clever or deserving. Mostly, I am thankful for the blessings I have and I am and aware that even with a solid knowledge that the church is true, a person can be so far off their path that they get no joy from...well, from anything really. I am thankful that I know that men are that they might have joy and that we each have lives where we can have joy, regardless of one's theology or circumstances.

Each one of us has a very personal journey.
Each one of us has methods of travel and tools we use in life that are specific to our eternal plan, to our personal 'big picture'. Not everyone wants the same things, not everyone has the same needs.

When I was younger, I LOVED road trips. In high school, my friend, Tara, had a car. We'd hop into the station wagon with a Diet Coke, a couple of Smiths tapes and (hopefully) enough gas money to get us where we needed to go and back. We went to Indianapolis, we went to Cincinnati, we went to the Gap outlet in Kentucky where we waited in line for an hour to pick up two dollar t-shirts.
 We were such worldly ,wise girls of 16.
Road trips were THE way to travel, I loved everything about them.

Fast forward 10 years and I'd just about rather stab my eye out than take a road trip.
You have kids, you know why.
It sometimes took 3 hours just to get to Kristine's house in Phoenix, an hour away.
The drive to Provo, Utah from Gilbert, Arizona?
Before kids, I could make it in 9 hours, 10 if I stopped to take pictures at the dam.
After kids?
Never less than 14 hours.
At that point in my life....screw road trips. It was cheaper to fly the person we wanted to visit out to see US and we went practically  nowhere.
Now, when we want to have any sort of adventure or experience, we have a lot of things we factor in. We consider the travel time, the cost and how that travel is going to impact our bodies when we arrive at our destination. Every month we get to where we need to be by using cars, the ferry, the subway, the jitney and at least once a month, someone is on an airplane.

My not-so-subtle point?

I'm not comfortable looking at the mode of spiritual transport one person uses and inevitably, comparing it to my own.
As I answered the prompt, most of my posts quickly became a comparison between the way my parents or grandparents journeyed towards the same location.
I know that they way they chose didn't seem to work very well and I have all of the luxury of hindsight that they didn't have as they were simply pressing forward.

The short answer to the prompt is that my parents and grandparents were LDS.
The long answer involves my feelings, experiences and opinions about how they practiced the religion.
But the long answer isn't actually an answer at all because their journey isn't finished. It isn't even finished when they die. They have their own way to get where they need to be and I don't believe anyone deliberately went the wrong way.
That has to be where I end and they begin, I have to simply be okay with knowing that we all have different paths and nobody deliberately goes the wrong way, even those who not only go the wrong way, but they run you over in the process.
They are figuring out how to get there, too.

And that is the right answer I am supposed to post.

I do have one story I remember as a kid about my Grandma and Grandpa on my mother's side. She was a young woman and he was in the service, Navy, I believe. They met at a dance. She asked him what religion he was because she wanted to be with a man who was a Mormon.
not knowing that was what she was going for, but knowing that she was the prettiest girl there, my grandfather dodged the question by answering "I go to a round church, so the devil can't catch me in a corner."
When she told him she was a Mormon, he was relieved and told her he was a Mormon, too.

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