Thursday, November 11, 2010

On the mundane

Just posting this here because I think it's a shame the way Facebook sends so much of my good stuff into digital oblivion after a week or so.

A friend posted something like: There has to be more to life than doing the same thing every day.

To which I responded something like: Life is about taking little moments of joy and weaving them into the tapestry of your life in such a way that they make it beautiful. In every tapestry there is a base of unremarkable threads, but here and there is the silver strand of being there for your brother's big award, or the way your wife smiled when you told a joke, or listening to someone. Those moments make your life beautiful. People think that because jobs take so much of our time that they are something we should allow to define us, but they are really more like brushing teeth. We all do them every day, and it's a good idea to do them well, but they don't define who you are. You are not a _____ or a tooth brusher, you are _____, son of God, and I for one am proud to know you.

(I didn't put in his name and profession, because I didn't seek his permission to put them on my blog.)

The funny thing is, he's one of the best guys I know, smart, funny, spiritual, family oriented, hardworking, hard-playing, sweet, and thoughtful. No wonder his INCREDIBLE wife fell in love with him. He's the kind of guy that people say they can "expect great things from," but he is already doing great things, he just doesn't see it.

So I hope you, as one of my 6 readers, will take a moment and look at the tapestry of your life. Now don't look at what is there, first consider what you see. Are you seeing the banality? Are you seeing the mopping of the floor and the commute to work?
Well stop it.
Start DELIBERATELY looking at the beautiful things. Recognise when those strands are being woven in, stop to appreciate the glitter of that child's smile, the bright red of your sacrifices, the green of each new beginning, the gold of your service.

See what you are, for you are something great.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The voice we all know

My mother has a beautiful voice. She sings like an angel, and I grew up listening to her singing around the house, at church, and in choirs. I would listen to her up there on that stage and no matter how beautifully the choir melded together, no matter how many voices sang her part with her, I could always pick out her voice.

As I grew older I learned to pick out other choir member's voices. They would often be embarrassed if I told them, "I could pick you out," because they thought it meant they were out of tune or off-beat. I felt a similar case of self-consciousness when I sang with a choir a few years back and my dear friends told me they could pick me out. They insisted it wasn't because I was out of tune or off-beat (though, to be honest... I am a little off-beat.) They said it was because they heard me sing every Sunday. Across the aisle in Sacrament Meeting, or along with the children in Primary, they heard my voice all the time and knew it.

Similarly I have noticed that children can pick up the sound of a parent's voice. Even if several adults are talking, the other kids are screaming, and the toys are clattering away, little heads that hang in grief over the absence of a parent pop up at the slightest whisper of that voice they know. It's a sound that pierces the din of the world, a parent's voice, it carries straight to the soul.

Now if they had never known their mother's voice they would not have been able to pick it out. If I had not been so bold in singing in church my dear friends would not have known my voice from the others. If I had never paid attention, in rehearsals, to the voices of my mother and her friends I would never have been able to distinguish them amid the harmonies of the full choir.

I have concluded that two things determine how well we hear some one's voice; our experience of having heard the voice, and our attentiveness. I think these two factors play a role in our response to the voice of The Lord. He calls out to us, unfailing, but whether or not we hear him is another thing altogether.

Through revelation we know that each of us once knew the voice of The Lord. In the time before this life we heard Him volunteer to fulfill the crucial role in The Father's plan. We knew Jehovah and trusted Him enough to side with Him in the "war in heaven." We yearned to follow Him, and he promised to guide us if we will listen.

It's the listening that's hard, it's paying attention and giving Him our focus. Just as the child happily playing with his toys can be surprised to find his mother has been calling for him, we too, if inattentive, can fail to hear the voice of The Lord. If we do not shut out the other voices, the noise of the world, the bass singing low, the alto in her gentle glide, even the soloist in her bold and showy trilling all over the scale, we will not find that one sweet angelic voice.

Listen for it. Do you hear Him? He's calling to you right now. He speaks of His love for you, He sings of His longing to grasp your hand and lead you home. He aches to dry your eyes and hold you close as His love makes up for all you have ever done wrong, and all the wrong that has ever been done to you. His song is the song of love, of healing, of joy beyond comparison. Listen for it, pick Him out from the noise of the world and follow his every note until his melody fills you. Listen for the voice we all know.