Soundtrack: Doubting Thomas by Nickel Creek
Last August, my Bishop recommended me to be a temple worker. Essentially this means a weekly six hour stint at the temple, helping out as needed. I love the idea of volunteering my spare time in the most peaceful place on earth every week. But at the time, there were several reasons why I didn't feel like it was for me. And that was that.
About a month ago, I popped into the temple on a whim and got one of those overtake your heart and brain reminders that that recommendation is still on the table. I thought a lot about it that morning and ended up talking to a member of the temple presidency about it before I left. When I was considering being a missionary, I had had a similar ambiguous "think about it" impression and when I finally talked to my bishop about it, there was no question what I should do. God wanted me to be a missionary. That confirmation came instantly and I really only twice questioned the decision ever again. Once when I realized that the guy who I was dating at the time [and wanted to marry] was most definitely going to get married while I was gone, and again when I first got to Thailand and realized that Thai is hard, 100 degrees is hot, and being a missionary is really hard. Both times, I looked back at that initial conversation with my bishop and remembered the certainty I felt. Of course I want to fill out my papers. God wants me to be a missionary and there is no reason I wouldn't follow that call.
I was hoping that I would get a similar strong feeling one way or the other of DO THIS, or DON'T in my conversation with the temple counselor and his wife. They talked about how much the temple needs and appreciates young people volunteering their time and I could let them know when works best for me. Didn't sound or feel like a call from God to me.
Well, at least not that I paid attention to. I called my dad on my way home and talked it out with him. Talked to a couple friends who are currently temple workers, picked the brains of plenty other close friends since then, talked to my current bishop again. It's several weeks later now and with every conversation I have about whether or not I should be a temple worker, the impression is the same: the temple doesn't necessarily need you right now, but you need the temple.
I'm groaning now (out loud) as I write this because I'm really having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that I know that being a temple worker will the best thing for me right now. For the same reasons being a missionary was the best thing I could ever do. For the same reasons that proper sacrifice brings us happiness. Because God knows us, and what we need. I know. I know!
So why am I having such a hard time with just doing it?
Among other things, I have serious issues committing my time, especially such a large and regular chunk as that. Pathetic, I know, but six hours a week somehow feels like a lot. I aimed to pop in to the temple today, and ended up accidentally falling asleep in my bed instead. Oops!
Thomas was an Apostle who wanted to feel Christ's wounds after He was resurrected before being convinced that it was in fact Jesus Christ in front of him. He was dubbed 'Doubting Thomas' for his lack of faith and follow-through. How's that for a legacy?
There is a positive spin (thank you Christianity for always looking for that). After seeing proof, Jesus blessed him for his testimony, and added "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." According to Wikipedia, he was also called Thomas the Believer.
Sometimes it's hard to believe. Sometimes it's hard to remember the miracles I've experienced and confirmations I've received. It's hard to want to make the sacrifices that produce faith.
I don't want to be a Doubting Thomas. I echo Nickel Creek in the lament, "Please give me time to decipher the signs. Please forgive me for time that I've wasted... I'm a Doubting Thomas. I'll take your promise, though I know nothing safe. Oh me of little faith."
I will be a temple worker, I just need a minute.