Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thank You For... You! (part 1)

As the revolving door of time opens us up to a brand new year, I recently have found myself thinking about what has changed for me in the past 365 days. Quiet a bit has happened, but nothing as bold as the opportunity to serve a full time mission. Although I am still relatively "young" in the mission life, I have already come to see that my perspective has changed, forever altering my future. In reflection, I can safely say I attribute this perspective shift to the very spirit of the mission: Service.

President Hinckley being Jovial
 There are many ways to serve, many venues in which one can do it. You can serve your neighbor, your community, your family, or your country. The list goes on, but the nobility of the principle stays the same. I quote President Hinckley's father who, in response to young Gordon's plea to come home, said, "Forget yourself and go to work.”

How many of you have been forever changed because of service rendered? How many of you have a permanent brand of love on your heart because of some kind soul's selfless act? I can remember one such experience, when a close cohort of mine perceived me struggling, and offered a time tested remedy that he had found was his only source of respite in his own personal trek through the 'gall of bitterness'.

I had been struggling for a while, searching for a sense of identity and purpose. I felt that I was doing all that God had asked, and yet still could not see a way out. I was spiraling downward, and in this inward struggle to find self worth and value this friend offered a solution. "Hey, my mom needs help with the yard, how 'bout you come over and trim our trees?" At first I wasn't super excited, but agreed to do it. Little did I know what a profound impact that suggestion slash blessing-in-disguise had been.

It was a hot summer day, and the trees were tall. The hedge trimmer's plug was old, and the extension chord had been well used, resulting in a constant effort to keep the chord plugged into the hedge trimmer. As I tip-toed on the ladder, sweating as I swung the trimmer to and fro, something marvelous occurred; I forgot about myself! I was so completely focused on how awesome these trees were going to look that I failed to remember the worries that had so easily beset me the day before. Before I knew it, I was standing in front of a large pile of debris, drenched in sweat staring at a sweet looking yard with a grin on my face. It was only after I rewarded myself with a gulp of cool water that I realized that for a moment, I had escaped myself and been truly happy. I was too focused on how his mother's face would look as she pulled into the driveway to be thinking about my lame sauce worries. Revelation exploded as I realized that I had found the key true joy.

It is my testimony that as we "forget ourselves and get to work," we will find happiness. As we put ourselves out of the picture, we are forced to release our own pride and blindness, and inadvertently make room for the Comforter to fill the void. We will find renewed sense of purpose as we follow our greatest example, our Savior, and lift the hands that hang down. Christ gave His life, every moment of it, to better ours; it is an inevitable conclusion that we too will partake in His glory and joy as we strive to do the same.


This post was dedicated to this person who, through a small act of sharing his favorite remedy for the blues, had changed a life forever. He gave me new perspective on service, one that has changed the way I view my mission before it even began. In his mind's eyes, I'm sure this was the least of his acts of service to me (Dude helped me out A LOT) but it was the one that has changed my life. Thank you so much, John and all those who stuck around this long to read this far. I love you all, now go and do!

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