Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oh, that I were an angel . . .

This morning I read Alma’s heartfelt wish to be an angel and cry with a voice like a trumpet to every people. And then his realization that he ought to be content with the call he’s been given, with the opportunity to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands without wishing the Lord would use him in a different operation. I love this chapter; it always speaks to me. Sometimes, when the stars are aligned and I’ve been living right, I get on a spiritual high and feel such yearning to do great things in the Lord’s hands. And even when I don’t feel that desire to do something GREAT, I always want to be doing something good, to contributing to the work in some way or another, adding to the goodness in the universe.

Oh, yes, I feel it all—in theory. But it’s when it comes down to the nitty-gritty that my valiant desires get lost somehow. Like when I finally make it to bed at the end of the day and am just drifting off and there is that so-familiar little tap on the door that means that one of the boys has waked PAST THE BATHROOM to tell me that he needs a drink. Or to tell me something he suddenly remembered is due tomorrow. Or to tell me the what the chair in his room looks like in the dark. Whatever. Suddenly, the only thing in my mind is “Must . . . get . . . back . . . to . . . sleep!” Or, if a second motivation comes, it’s “Must . . . teach . . . child . . . some . . . discipline!”

Never do I think, “How can I be an instrument in the Lord’s hands at this exact moment?”

Why is it that I’m always looking beyond the mark? So intent on doing great things, I overlook the small ones, the ones that could do great things inside me, change my character and make me more like Christ—and which also might make a big difference, over time, in the lives of those I love the most? I’ve become too farsighted, refusing to focus on what’s in front of me. I do sin in my wish and ought to be content. I resolve to do better.

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