Growing pains. Today at church our ward (geographical congregation) was reorganized with new boundaries. They did a 3-for-2 split because we'd grown so large that the primary (kids group) was over 200 and was breaking fire code. While growing up, I can't recall more than perhaps one such boundary realignment. Yet since I've lived here, this is my third one. Guess that's both good and bad.
Ever since word got out last week that things were changing this week, there's been a buzz of speculation on what the new boundaries would be. You see, a ward for LDS folks is very much like a surrogate family. Therefore, messing with the boundary lines can be quite tramatic. We knew that since a division was about to happen (as someone said today, like cells multiplying) we would undoubtedly lose some friends on the other side of the new lines. When the new maps were released this afternoon and we saw what was to happen, it quickly became apparently that while we're keeping many close friends in our new ward, we're losing many longtime buddies as well.
But, as one friend pointed out, "it's not like you're moving away! You just happen to go to church at a different time!" Good, simple wisdom. We do tend to blow things a little out of proportion, yes. Yet it's nice when you're forced to bump into friends at least weekly in the halls at church. You smile, shake hands, and rub shoulders. It's good. We're often too busy to make it happen otherwise.
To all my friends who have done so much for my family over the last seven-plus years, I thank you warmly. You are definitely my extended family. You'll never really know the impact you've made. Like most folks, my family has weathered some pretty steep ups and downs, and I honestly don't think I would have made it so easily without you. I have enjoyed every minute of serving with you. I have absolutely cherished watching the achievements many of you have made in your own lives. You are some of the most amazing people I've ever been among. Really.
I have also absolutely enjoyed the chance for the last 18 months to teach Sunday School. What a totally fun calling! Best ever. There's nothing better than getting together each week with dear friends, laughing, recharging one another's batteries, and walking out feeling better than when we came in. Complete therapy. Will I get to keep doing this fun stuff? Time will tell. (For those not familiar, we don't choose our assignments or callings, they choose us...)
The good news is that, in perhaps several more years, I'll very likely be saying the same thing about the new ward and its boundaries. Anyone hear Lion King Circle-Of-Life music in the background right now?
The bad news? Two words. 1pm church.