Saturday, March 29, 2008

Some obvious things I've been learning

I just wanted to share a couple of things I’ve been learning while sick this time. They’re kind of stupid because they are so obvious and because I’ve heard them before. It’s just that I’ve never lived them before. So don’t be expecting any new insight here—but it’s newer and truer for me because I have felt them now.

I’ve spoken before about Alma’s “Oh that I were an angel” speech. Personally, I have never been extended a calling that I have struggled with. (Although I have struggled with a release, as I talked about here. But that’s different.) Never until now, that is. Because I have been given a calling to serve in a way that I had never wanted to serve and for which I find myself sadly unqualified. And that is that I am currently serving by giving other people an opportunity to serve. I hate it. I am praying to come to a point where I don’t hate my calling, but it’s hard. I’ve always been so cocky about my health and ability to serve others. And so judgmental about people who didn’t want me to serve them. So I deserve this. But it’s hard. I am trying to apply all the things I’ve heard about how to come to accept and love and magnify a calling to this current calling of mine. It is teaching me a lot about the worth of souls and judgmentalism.

The other thing is this concept of manna. I have slowly come to realize that I must pray for the daily manna instead of the overall deliverance into the promised land (or, at least, in addition to that). But I’ve also had to rethink exactly what manna is. It’s one thing to pray, “Just give me what I need to get my tasks done today,” and then expect the energy to do what I need to do. It’s another thing to be grateful when the manna consists, not of the energy I had hoped for, but of someone showing up to do my work for me. Instead of the energy to cook dinner, someone shows up with dinner. Not what I had hoped for, but manna just the same, and I need to learn to be just as grateful, and to recognize the miracle for what it is.

I am ever more and more grateful to my Lord for all He does for me, and all He is teaching me. Somehow He’s going to find a way to humble me through this, no matter what it costs. I really am glad. Usually.

And speaking of manna showing up in unusual ways, I just have to publicly thank Kathy and Angela, who showed up two days ago out of the blue with their arms full of groceries (I’m saying it took them a few trips to get it all in the house). And they weren’t just any groceries, but several carefully-planned meals that went into the freezer and a whole bunch of stuff my kids can use to pack lunches (the real treasure!). All I could do was cry. It’s a strange feeling to be visited by angels.

Another angel: my mother-in-law, in addition to feeding my family for a few evenings in a row now, came yesterday and mopped my floor. And the day before that she came and textured my stairwell!


Zina said...

Often it's the obvious things that really bear repeating. I've had lots of opportunities to learn these same lessons in recent years, and I have to admit I've never quite enjoyed the learning experience.

I don't know how many times I've said to Dean that, even though I know I'm doing the best I can when I can only do a little, and that God accepts whatever I can offer, I enjoy it MUCH more when my best involves being up and active instead of lying in bed and wondering how I'll get through the day without my kids going completely feral.

My Mom's quoted Milton's "On His Blindness" to me at times like these: "They also serve who only stand and wait."
There certainly seems to be lots of virtue ascribed to this kind of "waiting on the day of the Lord," and it's also a good reminder that even those who can do a lot can't even come close to saving themselves; we're all still utterly dependent in that sense.

I'm so grateful for your angels. Hang in there with your un-wished-for calling. Also, Blogger wasn't letting me comment the other day, but I'll be fasting for you too (although my ward's not fasting until April 13th.)

Jennifer B. said...

Thanks for sharing Darlene. I hope your appointment goes well this week.