Sunday, June 03, 2007

Contentment

The Lord has counseled us to be content with the things that He has allotted to us. Throughout law school, I’ve realized that I need to take that advice. There’s no way I can be the best: I’m not that smart. But I can be my best. That’s all I have to give.

I’ve had the tendency to compare myself to others. When I see ten-year-olds playing Chopin or hear about athletes going straight from High School to the pros and make more in a year than I can even hope to make in a life time, I’m more than a little jealous. More than anything, I’ve wanted to excel in something, something that would make Jay Leno or David Letterman beg to have me come on their shows. But if I’m honest with myself, I don’t have any exceptional talents that set me apart from anyone. That thought has always depressed me.
But what’s wrong with being run-of-the-mill within the main stream when there are other rivers, even oceans, in which to swim?
Near the end of the two years I served as a missionary in Ecuador, I wanted to finish strong. I had promised to give two years of service, and I was determined to serve a full two years. But fatigue and the absence of success had worn on me. I took my concerns to my mission president, President Call, and asked for a blessing. President Call agreed and expressed joy that one of his missionaries wanted to finish his service with the same energy as when he started. During the blessing, President Call told me of a poet who, upon seeing an angel with a book, asked the angel what was written in the book. The angel replied that the book contained the names of those who loved the Lord. The poet then asked that his name be included with the names of those who love the Lord. Years later, the poet again saw the angel holding the same book. The angel showed the poet the book, and the poet’s name was first among those who loved the Lord.
Loving the Lord is the greatest talent that anyone can have. What’s better is that all can love Him equally, and each name may be written beside the other. If we love the Lord, then we will do what He has commanded, and if we do what the Lord has commanded, we will have eternal life.
Ultimately, what else matters?

3 comments:

mpankratz said...

Nothing! I'm soooooo glad you're mine!

Love,
Your Misty

Mark Osler said...

The thing is that, in the profession you are pursuing there really is no such thing as "best." What really matters is being engaged in the lives you encounter and being just, fair, and sometimes merciful. That's as good as it gets for any of us, and that's a lot.

Mom said...

My feelings exactly.
Love, Mom