Here is the deal....
Serving others is not in my second nature. I wish it was. I really wish it was! I admire people that have others needs constantly in the front of their minds! People that have like that 6th sense that includes the way others are feeling and what their needs may be and at any moment they selflessly fill those needs. My Mother in Law is that way! TOTALLY! It is not a second nature to me, but I am learning and I want it to be! It takes a lot more conscious effort and I miss a lot of opportunities, but I am learning. :) I believe that with a bit of effort any good characteristic can become part of what defines who we are.
So, having that on my mind a lot lately I loved so much of what Matt taught us.
He used a great analogy from his Mountain Biking about how when he is riding he always seems to be looking right in front of his front tire. The ride is rough. There is no space to anticipate what is coming up next. It is dangerous because he isn't seeing far enough ahead. It is less enjoyable because his line of vision is limited and his muscles are tense. While he was out riding one time he made himself look further ahead. He said the difference was immediate. He was MORE prepared for what was coming. He could relax because he was prepared. He was safer because he could better anticipate his next move.
Sometimes when we get a bit of tunnel vision going on in our lives we struggle to reach out to others because all of our needs are immediate and right on us. However, if we learn to look forward and plan accordingly, we have the ability to switch direction or allow for extra things that need to be done.
That is my goal. I tend to get a little side tracked. I mean, you put me in a Target with a list of 3 items to get and I can EASILY find something to entertain me for an hour and a half! It's the "Tiger" in me, what can I say?!
I want to plan better so that I am better at being able to give more of myself and my time to others. My friend Michelle is a list maker. She swears by it. Maybe that is the route I need to take! Either way I am going to take Matt's advice and start looking further ahead!
Matt went on to tell a story about making a wish.
If someone came to you and told you that you had 1 wish, what would you wish for? Just one. It can be anything in the world...what would you wish for?
In the study Matt told us about there were people that would wish for money, house, cars, etc.
Let's say you wanted money. Why? Because it would help you to provide for your family and you can pay off your debt and lower your stress. Then ask, WHY? again. Why is being able to do that important to you?
In the study every single person within 3-4 answers boiled down to their desire being to be happy & have peace in their lives.
So if ultimately all of our wishes boil down to having peace and happiness in our lives it must be pretty important to all of us. So how do we get there...cause I haven't ever come across that magic rubbable lamp, so I have to go with plan B on this one! (Which actually is likely really plan A) :)
Matt pointed out 2 scriptures that give us the answers to that.
Doctrine & Covenants 59:23 - "But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.
John 13:12-17 (at the Last Supper when Christ was washing the feet of the apostles) - "So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
SERVICE = Peace & Happiness.
It strikes me more and more that this is the answer to likely all of our problems...or at the very least, a way to find peace and happiness in hard times.
I totally believe that if we lose ourselves in helping others, through the process we will truly find ourselves. (Matthew 16:25) Our TRUE selves! AND we will be Happy & Have Peace!
For me, the harder thing is forgetting myself and getting to work! :) Which would be what I am working on.
Matt gave a quote that I want to become my mantra! :) It is by a man named Francis of Assisi. He was known as the "lover of creation" who lived most of his lfe ministering to the poor and needy who were around him. He wrote.....
"Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love,
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
Isn't that great?! Oh I love that one! I need to print it, stitch it, vinyl it...whatever! I just need to have it up where we can see it all of the time!
Anyway, just a little something that has been on my mind for a bit! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this too! I have so much to learn from you guys! I love being inspired by so many truly GREAT people!