Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Success= love

Ben had on some motivational stuff. And it's good....but. 
He was talking about great people doing great things...BIG things.
And I was looking around at the laundry that was waiting to be folded. 
Let's just say I wasn't feeling terribly motivated.

I left for my run and picked a random conference talk to listen too. 
Elder Wirthlin's voice, wasn't intense or dramatic like the motivational speaker, it was old and sightly monotone, but full of wisdom and full of the Spirit that seemed to flow through my earphones past my run-quickened pulse in my ears, into my feeling rather weary mind and heart.

He spoke on Love. The great commandment. 

He quoted scripture:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity,” he told them, “I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”2Paul’s message to this new body of Saints was simple and direct: Nothing you do makes much of a difference if you do not have charity. You can speak with tongues, have the gift of prophecy, understand all mysteries, and possess all knowledge; even if you have the faith to move mountains, without charity it won’t profit you at all.3
He told about the pharisees asking,  
“which is the great commandment in the law?”5The Pharisees had debated this question extensively and had identified more than 600 commandments.6 If prioritizing them was such a difficult task for scholars, certainly they thought the question would be impossible for this son of a carpenter from Galilee.
I thought about all I should be doing, all I want to be doing, the many things I leave undone. All the things that roll forward on my to do list (that I should call my "hope to list"). All the things that overwhelm me and get me feeling like it's impossible, no matter what. The days when I feel I should leave the dishes and head to the park, and other days when the best things I can do for my family is get the house back in order. The endless weighing of choices and tryign to align my priorities daily, hourly, even moment to moment as a million things demand my attention, my time, my brain power, my physical, emotional and spiritual strength.
But the answer from our Saviour was simple:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.“This is the first and great commandment.“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”7
Love it was matters. 

Prophet Joseph taught that “love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God."

I thought back to those "great" things people had done that the motivational speaker spoke of and I thought, what is my mission? what is my real goal? 

It's to be like my Heavenly Father. 
And to do that, I have to love. 

I thought-- what if I made my decisiosn based on whether or not they were based in love?
Laundry, dishes...life's everyday necessities really are based in a desire to love and serve my family.
But other desicions I make, may be more about how I am perceived as a mother, and are more based in my pride or need of validation. 

Love is usually very small things. The ordinary things. 

Which made me think of one of my favorite quotes:

To do well those thing which God ordained to be the common lot of all man-kind, is the truest greatness. 
To be a successful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successful general or a successful statesman...We should never be discouraged in those daily tasks which God has ordained to the common lot of man... Let us not be trying to substitute an artificial life for the true one.”                                                                           ― Joseph Fielding Smith

Making smoothies with my kids is common, changing diapers and kissing boo boos, is nothing unique, but it has been designed to make me godly! How I treat my ordinary duties will be the measure of my true success. 
Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship. It comforts, counsels, cures, and consoles... In the end love leads us to the glory and grandeur of eternal life.
I slowed to a walk as Elder Wirthlin told about an elderly man and woman who had been married for many decades. Because the wife was slowly losing her sight, she could no longer take care of herself the way she had done for so many years. Without being asked, the husband began to paint her fingernails for her.
“He knew that she could see her fingernails when she held them close to her eyes, at just the right angle, and they made her smile. He liked to see her happy, so he kept painting her nails for more than five years before she passed away.”
It was then that I realized I was crying. 
Because THAT was the kind of great I want to be! Ordinary, simple service that shows extraordinary and profound love.
Sometimes the greatest love is not found in the dramatic scenes that poets and writers immortalize. Often, the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life.
The most cherished and sacred moments of our lives are those filled with the spirit of love. The greater the measure of our love, the greater is our joy. In the end, the development of such love is the true measure of success in life.
 ... This is the central object of our existence. Without charity—or the pure love of Christ—whatever else we accomplish matters little. With it, all else becomes vibrant and alive.
As I try so hard to daily build a life worth living, one filled of that which matters most, one I can consider a success, I need to remember that my capacity and determination to love  is what all else "hangs on". 
When Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment to “love one another; as I have loved you,”  
He gave to them the grand key to happiness in this life and glory in the next. 
Love is the greatest of all the commandments—all others hang upon it. It is our focus as followers of the living Christ. It is the one trait that, if developed, will most improve our lives.

As I untied my runners, I was filled with a greater desire to love more and love better...even during the hour before super.