After being out of town for a few nights, having minimal sleep, and slogging back home at 1:30am, I slept in and missed my 9am Ward. (I haven’t ever actually made it to my 9am Ward, but at least this week I had planned to make it.) The aforementioned factors, as well as some others had me feeling a little irritable and frustrated going into the 1pm Ward I attended, but I wanted to be there anyway because I was hoping for three things: to stop feeling tense and frustrated, to take the sacrament and erase the past week from my mind and heart, and to sing the patriotic hymns with a group of people rather than alone in my car.
Previously what I call the “formulaic approach” to all things gospel-related had not been one that worked for me, so I’m not sure that I really expected the tenor of my day to change dramatically as a result of going to church. And it didn’t. The things that were bothering me have continued to bother me throughout the day, I am still tired, and there was only one patriotic song on the program of the Ward I attended. (Seriously, on July 5th what Ward sings Choose the Right as the closing hymn?!)
But what I did feel was an hour-long break from the things that had been bothering me. I felt the spirit overtake other feelings as I took the sacrament. I recognized sentiments and similar experiences shared by others in their testimonies. And while it’s no Star-Spangled Banner, I did feel a sense of unity with the congregation while singing Choose the Right.
To me, the church’s current push around making the sabbath and the sacrament more meaningful seemed like an odd thing to focus on, but that’s probably because I hadn’t gleaned much meaning from either myself. Today I felt a little bit of the sweetness of the sacred day of rest in having an hour where no mortal care seized my breast. Going into the coming week I do feel like I’ve hit ‘refresh’ and had a renewal of my love and faith. I am grateful that I have a day, or at least an hour each week which is made for me to have these experiences.