I have lots of friends in my ward. This surely has more to do with the fact that we have loads of friendly people than my own personal friendliness. But nonetheless, there are no less than 15-20 couples (and a handful of singles) that I would be happy to call to go out to dinner, go to a show or just hang out. Brooklyn seems to attract some of the coolest people I’ve ever known and I’m honored to be considered their friend.
But a couple of years ago I was called into the bishopric. This is problematic for the obvious reasons of my distaste for meetings, my preference to be a teacher, my lack of organization skills, my discomfort with asking people to sacrifice and my aversion to managers. But adding to that last point is the fact that I have to manage my friends, asking them to sacrifice. And then what to do when someone slacks. I mean, I’ve always been good at pointing out my friend’s failings behind their backs but now I have to say it to their face!!
As Mormons we all know our duty and that we’re going to be managed and asked to sacrifice. I’d just rather it come from someone else and not me. Let me be the person they’re complaining to, not about. And if I see them slack I prefer thinking, “Hm, that’s too bad. Oh well, I wonder what they’re doing on Saturday.” rather than, “Ugh. How am I supposed to bring this up without being a jerk?”
Now don’t get me wrong, generally things run quite smoothly and my friends are tremendously helpful, gracious even. I know I say a lot of remarkably stupid things that they magnanimously overlook and I’m sure that most of the discomfort is on my side. And yeah, I know, my life is really hard. I’ve got too many friends in my wonderful ward and sometimes I have to ask them to do stuff. The travesty of my situation is not lost on me. So let me just say that I’m grateful I’m not their bishop.