Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Committment Issues

This coming weekend is the Mud Festival somewhere in Korea. I was supposed to go. I reserved a spot on the bus, I paid my money, I told the primary president that I would be gone for the whole weekend...and then I decided to read the David O. Mackay Relief Society Manual and guess who's totally mormon and NOT going to the Mud Festival now?????

Here's the thing. When I was in college, a band that I really really really wanted to see was coming to Philly and playing on a Sunday night. A boy that I really really really wanted to makeout with wanted to go to the show too and we planned to go together. I'm not so into math but still the equation was compelling...rockshow + beautiful man = Bliss. But something didn't feel right. I believe in God and I believe that Sunday is the sabbath day...a day to do God things and sacrafice your own desires in order to completely dedicate yourself to the things that really matter, like service and family and thoughtful worship and study. The beautiful man was also religious and when we talked about it, he left it to me to make the decision to go or not to go to the show. Somewhere from deep inside, I mustered the strength to say ONE TIME, "OK, then let's not go." and that's when it started. We didn't go and subsequently, I have missed many an amazing event, show, makeout in the name of "keeping the sabbath day holy".

The mud festival is an organized weekend trip with a schedule and such. Evidently, we take a bus and we flop in the mud and eat food and hang out on the beach and come back sunday night. Everyone who has ever gone has the coolest photos and talks about how fun it is. The festival in and of itself is not the problem...it's the fact that I will miss church and be rolling around in dirt with half naked boys (sigh.) when I am supposed to be taking the sacrament. The talk that I read by the prophet was very straight forward and I felt something when he advised us that keeping the sabbath holy was not just about NOT doing things but also about being where we should be on sunday, like church. Of course, we will not be able to go to church every sunday during our lives, but I felt this time it was preventable and that maybe I should find another way to go to the festival and come home saturday night. Turns out that wasn't so possible...and so, Lumina and I cancelled (she needed to work on painting).

THe truth? I was actually kind of annoyed at myself for thinking about NOT going...I mean, how religious AM I? and honestly, does being mormon and committing to it require me to give up all semblence of rockstardom? Am I doomed to be milquetoasty, boring, unexperienced and lame? And the reality hit me: I care more about God things than mudfestivals and maybe just maybe somewhere along the line of my spiritual progression, I am going to stop caring about celebrity gossip and fashion magazines and pop culture and my hair all in the name of growth. Ok, probably not about the hair, but maybe...just maybe...


Michael said...

one more reason KaRyn is way out of my league. I probably would have gone anyway.

Marie said...

Do you really want to make out with a mud-covered man?

Nevermind. Don't answer that.

I admire you. Put in a good word for me when you get to heaven, okay?

Ninny Beth said...

I was worried that when writing this it would come out all "Hi My Name is KaRyn and I am holier than thou. Thank you." BUT BUT BUT I need to put in the disclaimer right here and right now that I am in no way judgemental of those who will roll in mud this weekend and I am hardly heaven material...My hope was to discuss the REALITY of committing to the gospel of Jesus Christ...and I want to hear about other people's struggles to reconcile faith and mudfestivals...any thoughts? maybe this was something I shouldn't have posted...you know one of those, too personal for the blog sentiments that will be misconstrued?

j said...

Many a time, a sporting event that I wanted to see has fallen during the hours of church, and when I was growing up my dad taught us that "if you skip church to watch the game, and they lose you'll feel extra bad, and if God cares in the slightest about sports, maybe he'll help your team if you do what you are supposed to." For the record, I don't think God cares of sports, but he does care about people and some people play sports. Anyone one time I went to a different ward so that I could get out early and see USA play Canada for the gold medal in hockey and we totally lost (we=USA). That was the last time I tried to put sports before God. In case it wasn't clear, I do still watch sports on Sunday, just not at the expense of my church meetings.

lenalou said...

I dealt with this dilemma recently - on my last short trip to the motherland, the only day I had to see my brother was Sunday, and it was a long enough drive that there was no way I could go to church as well. My bro's not of my faith, and family's important, so I skipped church and didn't really feel guilty. I was just a little torn between trying to show my commitment to my faith and my commitment to my family. Plus I'd been going to church in Italy though only understanding 50%, so I figured that should count for something :-). Not something I want to make a habit of, though. I honestly feel that usually, going to church and having a day of peace is worth missing the other stuff. Even Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at the Jazz fest Sunday night.

Marie said...

KaRyn -- I didn't mean for my comment to sound like I thought that you thought that you were spectacularly holy in some way. I was trying to be funny (failed) and distract myself from the feeling that I would be happier if I gave up my own pet Sabbath distractions. One of the things I like about you is you don't apologize for wanting to be as amazing as the gospel promises to make us and at the same time, you fully admit that sometimes (often) making the necessary choices to fulfill that desire is hard, and full of much foot-dragging.

I wasn't being sarcastic. I really *do* admire you, and if you continue to the end with your current attitude, you *will* end up in heaven. Baditude Girl just hopes that if she reads your blog long enough she'll work up the spine to reform herself. But if not, my request still stands. :)

Sarita said...

Mudfestivals are my biggest weakness. Or would be if I ever happened upon one.

My personal belief is that one should not beat up oneself over having to make decisions like seeing ones family or going to church one Sunday, however, when faced with that which would be cool and fun but not so much necessary, one who chooses the higher ground is to be respected. And probably blessed.

I havent always been that one, but try to be.

Hey, It's Ansley said...

Oh the struggles we have all faced, maybe not a mud festival specifically but other things as equally tempting (or at least close, rolling around with muddy boys is hard to beat I would imagine). Whatever happens, it's good to test your faith so it can grow, that's what life is all about. And I know you are all about growth, look at all the fantastic things you have done and risks you have taken all in the name of faith in the gospel and in yourself.

My favorite part of the post was at the end, I was reading word by word instead of skimming and peeking ahead so when I read that you might stop caring about things and got to your hair, I actually said "Nooooo" out loud. What a relief that I kept reading to see you reconsidered that. I'm still sad I never got prom hair lessons.

And in case you ever do get self-righteous, here's a t-shirt that one of these days I will stop just looking at and actually buy.


Moonbird said...

I respect your decision.

I believe a true Mormon (or any other spiritual affiliation) goes where God is...where the connection is deepest for them.

You chose church this weekend. Next time, you might choose to skip church for a weekend in nature, or for time with a family member, etc. You listened to where the connection would be this Sunday, gave it your fullest attention, and then made your decision to be there to get in on it.

I believe God isn't always at church. But He will be there this time, KaRyn, because you came specifically to see Him.

And I believe He would have been at the mud festival if the connection was best made with Him there.

Good job. I honor your divine connection.