Like millions, if not billions, of others, I have watched Michael Phelps' performance at the Bejing Olympics with awe. No one else has done what he has, and yet he remains humble. During an interview after he won his eighth gold meld in his last 4x100 relay, Phelps acknowledged that he wouldn't have been able to win eight golds without his team. He is truly the best swimmer in the world.
I've got to confess, though, that I feel a little jealous of him. I doubt that I'll ever be the best in the world at something. I just haven't been blessed with the necessary physical or mental capabilities. And from time to time my frailties harrow up my mind to such distress that I beat up on myself. Just once in my life, I would like to be the best at something.
But a little more than six years ago, I learned there was one thing I could be the best at, and everyone else could also be the best at it. We could all tie for the gold medal:
I had two months left before I returned home from my mission in Ecuador. My last area of service was a difficult place to be. We received little support from the members of the Church there, and consequently, those who we brought to church would refuse to come back again.
I was tired.
Every six weeks, I had the opportunity to have an interview with my mission president, Owen Call. And the time for our interview arrived again. As we spoke, I told him a little of my challenges, and then I said, "President Call I promised the Lord that I would give him a full two years, and I want to finish strong. Would you give me a blessing?"
President Call expressed his joy that one of his missionaries would be so concerned with fulfilling his assignment and laid his hands on my head. During the blessing, he said, "I would remind you of the poet who saw an angel with a book. He asked the angel what was in the book. The angel replied that it contained the names of those who loved the Lord. The poet asked that his name would be included in the book of those who loved the Lord. Years passed, and the poet again saw the angel with the same book. He asked to see if his name was still there. The angel opened the book, and the poet's name came before all others."
I want to be like that poet. And thankfully, we all can equally be like him in loving the Lord.
How do we love the Love the Lord? By keeping His commandments. John 14:15.
May we all strive to be the best at loving the Lord.