I too must give.
That’s a line from one of my favorite hymns. It always resonates strongly with me. I have been given so much, there’s not reason for me not to give back. Marriage has helped open my eyes to my abundant blessings. I’m not sure why, except that it’s said that marriage is like looking in a mirror every day all day. You really see yourself. While I have definitely recognized my weaknesses since I’ve been married, I’m also incredibly aware of my many blessings and I know that though I can never return the favor, I must do my best.
Tonight we went and picked peaches at the orchard. Our Church owns the orchard and the peaches are sent to the cannery and used for many things but one of the main things they are used for is to help families in need at the Bishop’s Storehouse.
Zach and I received and email letting us know that the peaches were ready and it was time. We planned all week to get there and pick peaches. Do you want to know something? Even though I know I should and that I am going to give my time and efforts to the Church,
sometimes most of the time, I just don’t want to. I’m simply being honest.
Sometimes I feel burdened by service, it hangs over my head heavily. Service is the mission of members of the Church, it’s what is supposed to make us who we are to become. It’s because that’s what Christ did, it was His whole purpose when he came to this earth. We strive to be like him, and service helps mold us into the best and most Christlike versions of ourselves.
My relationship with service is much like my relationship with exercise. I know those two things are good for my heart and soul. I know that those two things strengthen and discipline me as a person. I know those two things bring me closer to my Heavenly Father. But those two things are also the hardest things to start.
We had a lot of fun tonight. We visited with different members from our ward as we served alongside them. (Our Bishop would beam with happiness if he heard that, it is His greatest desire that we grow closer as a ward through serving with one another). We felt good about our small contribution to the welfare program of the Church. We were happy that we stepped out the door and did something for someone else.
As I thought about this I realized the connection between service and exercise. Both leave you with great feelings at the end, but both are incredibly hard to start. We resist them.
So I asked myself, “Why is it easier to make yourself serve than to exercise.” And the answer came almost as quickly as the question. “I am in debt to my Heavenly Father and my Savior. I owe it to them to serve.” So even if I’m not always thrilled about it (something I’m truly working on) I know that I need to and I can usually get myself out the door.
On the flip side it’s been a week since I’ve pushed my body or made myself sweat. And for some reason as I was comparing exercise and service I realized that exercise is service.
Am I not in debt to my Heavenly Father for this wonderful body He has given me? I can enjoy the sensations of a warm bath, a kiss from my husband, cuddling with my dog, lotion on my skin, and comfortable socks. I enjoy the tastes of fresh fruits in the summertime and warm rich hot chocolate in the winter. I enjoy the sensation of cold, creamy ice cream and a piece of homemade pizza. I love to look out at the farmland when Zach and I are driving or view the pretty sunset (rarely do I see the sunrise). I get to look at brand new babies smell their newborn scent. I get to have memories attached to smells that bring back a million memories. I literally receive and enjoy ALL of my many blessings through my body.
So do I not owe my Heavenly Father for that, too? Should I not show Him such appreciation by taking the best care of this wonderful gift?
Because I have been given much, I too must give. I think I just found some new motivation.