Sunday, February 21, 2010

I See... The Secret Nursery

Anyone who remotely knows me knows that I am unabashedly guilty of aspiring to one particular calling in the church- nursery worker. There must be opposition in all things, however, so God's version of Murphy's law has kicked in, and hence the more fervently I pray and aspire for the privilege of working with the pre-Sunbeam crowd, the farther He calls me away from them. During my High Council days, at least I was able to spend an inordinate amount of time substituting in the Nursery on the Sundays I wasn't speaking in another ward; now, however, as the High Priests Group Leader, I'm obligated to spend all my Sundays during the third hour keeping “retired” priesthood leaders busy discussing basic gospel principles with experience and imagination usually beyond my ability to comprehend. I love exploring the precious pearls of the Gospel of Jesus Christ just as much as the next priesthood holder, but my life experiences, my chances to put the gospel in action, can't compete with WWII fighter pilots and chiefs of Pediatric surgery... wow...

So, just when I thought I was consigned to an eternity of learning from adults, God in his infinite wisdom and mercy quietly led me to a remarkable discovery- an amazing opportunity to learn from the very young- the Secret Nursery!

So... where is the Secret Nursery? I'll tell you if you promise to keep it quiet. Several years ago, our inspired ward leaders were prompted to create two Gospel Doctrine classes- one for the real adults, conducted in the chapel, and another one for young parents learning too quickly how to be adults by spending too much time wrestling with the noisy nursery children of tomorrow, held in the Releif Society room. The only chance these new parents have of being enriched by any part of a doctrinal lesson is to let their very young ones loose in a small open area in the back of the room surrounded a formidable man-made barrier of padded chairs and colorful church bags full of formula, binkies, and diaper rags. Here they are free to crawl, teeter, and sometimes even leap to the walking stage as they dramatically work out disagreements on sharing Cheerios- a makeshift, Secret Nursery.

During a Gospel Doctrine lesson a few weeks ago, I accidentally escaped from the chapel to the back of the Relief Society room and stumbled upon the Secret Nursery. One toddler desperately needed sustenance, and was on the brink of informing everyone within a five-block radius of the chapel with screams of heartfelt hunger- I kept him temporarily entertained until her frustrated mom was able magically extract a bottle from a cavernous diaper bag. Another young daredevil courageously stood up tentatively on his feet and attempted to wobble his way across the room- I was there and ready just in case he tipped over before reaching his destination.

Life is good again. God loves me. I quietly labor in the Secret Nursery during the Sunday School hour.