I grew up watching musicals and I always enjoyed Hello. Dolly. It was fun watching Barbara Streisand strutting around in fantastic clothes belting out "Before the Parade Passes By". It was even funner (I know that's not a real word) watching Walter Matthau "singing" and looking grumpy (I love that man). And I think my favorite part was watching the "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" scene at the beginning (and this was way before Wall-e was even dreamed of). So when I decided to write a few of my thoughts about Sunday, I immediately thought of that scene and that is what I titled this post.
Recently, I have been trying to fill my mind with positive, inspiring quotes and ideas. To fill my mind with them, I have endeavored to memorize bits and pieces from books and songs and scripture. It is slow-going, because I have never had a very strong mind for memorization. But I now have a few scriptures, a Dickinson poem, and a Dostoevsky quote under my belt. Hanging on one of my walls is another scripture that I am trying to memorize (and it has been on the wall for months--that is how slow I am):
As a result, the Sabbath day, or Sunday, is something that I have had on my mind a lot. These days, many people grow up not seeing how or why Sunday is or should be different than any other day of the week--apart from the fact that it is part of the weekend and so many people don't have to work or go to school on Sunday.
For me, Sunday is a reminder that a loving Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ, "rested" from their physical labors after creating this beautiful earth for us. It is a day set apart from the rest of the week, made for us, so that we can try to separate ourselves as much as we can from the daily toil of the week and focus on the things and people that matter most--focus on the Lord's work and His glory which is His children and their development and progression towards Him, the source of all true happiness and peace (Moses 1:39).
All my life I have put on Sunday clothes and attended 3 hours of church on Sunday. Only recently am I truly recognizing what a "delight" that Sunday can be. When I go to church, I am aware that the people giving the talks and reading and discussing the lessons are imperfect people, just as I am. I am aware that in proclaiming that there are eternal truths that do not change and that there are rules or commandments that we must follow if we want to experience true, lasting joy, I set myself up for looking like a hypocrite when I do not live up to those standards completely--but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't continue to strive and work towards those standards. And my own deficiencies and the deficiencies of those around me do not change the fact that I feel the truth of what is being said and shared as we meet together on Sundays and read the scriptures and the words of the prophet today.
I have come to love Sundays and delight in them because they help me see myself as I really am. They help me focus on my family and on the life and mission and love of Jesus Christ, who helps us do the hard things in this life, do everything in this life-- and helps us better appreciate and love the times when life is not as difficult. Sunday reminds me that I am a child of God and so is the person standing next to me in the elevator--and I should treat them as such. Sunday reminds me that my life and my personality & talents and my happiness are important to God--and if I give them to Him, He can do some pretty marvelous things through me.
I haven't got it all figured out yet. I probably won't for a long time. But I have felt these things and they are changing me into someone that I like a little bit better than before.
"Put on your Sunday clothes when you feel down and out. Strut down the street and have your picture took. Dressed like a dream your spirit seems to turn about...."
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Sunday, July 5, 2015
Who we are is ever-present- the seeds of what we can become remain inside our minds and hearts whether we acknowledge them or not. Our choices unlock or stifle our growth and potential--so yes our choices and interaction with the world around us do matter and help us reach our biggest brightest selves. But it is always frustrating to me when movies or books depict a character's triumphant self-discovery as something like breaking rules or breaking social norms. Not that all rules or social norms are healthy and should be followed. But I also don't believe that someone has truly liberated themselves or "found" their true selves simply because they jump into a swimming pool without clothes on...or something like that.
I guess, what I'm trying to say, is that the journey to self isn't so much about finding which rules should be broken or what it feels kind of nice and fun to do in the moment--it seems to be more about discovering what behaviors and rules and creative experiences bring true and lasting growth and freedom and happiness...which behaviors, rules, and creative experiences bring you closer to understanding your Creator and thus closer to understanding yourself. Because whether we like to admit it sometimes or not, He who made us, understands us in a way no one else can.
I know that there are some who don't believe we were intentionally created at all...but I still would think that for them, the same principles for self-discovery hold true: that you try to look for and find the behaviors and rules and creative experiences that bring true and lasting growth, freedom and happiness.
But I will quit jabbering. Here is someone who explains my sentiments far better than I can:
, We Are the Architects of Our Own Happiness
Who thinks Dvorak's music is just wonderful.