Thursday, October 3, 2013

I wish I may, I wish I mite

I'm come to the conclusion that one of the hardest things to do is being forgiving of oneself.

Lately, I have had cause to reflect on those times in my life when I have felt the most worthless, the most incapable, the most disgusting or the most unproductive.  And you know what: Usually, it has very little to do with me and everything to do with how much I am evaluating others and pitting their performance against my own.

She has more time.  He has more money to give.  They don't have as many kids as I do.  They have more kids than I do and are so on top of it all.  She is a more talented singer than me.  His job is more prestigious.  Their child is getting a full-ride to college.  She is so organized, so crafty, such a good cook.  He is so handy, so cheerful, such an involved father.  Their marriage is ideal.  They have a boat.  Their kids don't have behavior issues.  What am I doing wrong?

And the list goes on and on, indefinitely.  Or, at least, it could.  And the thing is, this tape used to play in my head so often, I didn't even it was a tape.  A script.  Something someone else put in there.  The world.  The adversary.  The media.  I'm sure a multitude of influences have crafted this tape, tailored it to strike at my personal vulnerabilities.  The point is, I have a choice about whether or not the tape gets played in there and that's something I didn't realize before.

There are times, trying times, when we are asked to do things, or perhaps are even required to do things, that we simply aren't perfect at.  Crazy, I know.  The fact remains, we will always have failings, there will always be someone, somewhere that is able to do more, be more, give more than we can.  And that is painful, unbending truth if you are placing your value and your worth as a human being on this measuring stick.  It's down right shaming.  Good thing that measuring stick is imaginary.

And it is.  Know that from this moment on.  That measuring stick is fake.  It's not real.  It never has been real.  It never will be real.  Your worth is immeasurable.  Your value is infinite.  You are more.

There's this beautiful little story about a widow.  She is very poor, has next to nothing.  Next to her neighbors and peers, she is an outcast, she is invisible, she has no value.  And yet, despite all that she is lacking, with her head held high, she shows up on the appointed day and cast into the offering box two small mites.  Others may have scoffed at her meager and lowly offering, asking why she would bother, or whispering how embarrassing it was; however, the Savior said:

"Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, 
than all they which have cast into the treasury:
For all they did cast in of their abundance; 
but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."

The Widow's Mite by James C Christensen

The reality is that in those moments when we feel so low and lowly, those times that we feel our offerings to our family, our community, our jobs, our friends, neighbors, our children's school and even our churches is too small to be of any consequence, those times when we feel like utter failures... in those moments, we stand the tallest, we give the most.  In those times when we doubt ourselves and the value of our services to others, that is precisely when our contributions are the most valid and important.  When you are giving your widow's mites, when you are giving ALL you have--despite how much that is in comparison to someone else's abundance--in that moment, you are the most beautiful, the most productive, the most lovely, and praiseworthy.  Your value is far above rubies.

Please don't doubt the value of your widow's mite.  Know that perfection of duty and obligation isn't required.  What is asked of us is to give what we can.  That may change from moment to moment.  Somedays you may have an abundance to give from, some days you might only have your meager mites.  Either way, it is always enough.  

You are good.  You are enough.

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