You know, I always think about Mary and Martha — one was the cleaner and the other was the let-it-go kind of personality. I am definitely of the let-it-go persuasion. I think this puts me in the minority of women. The past few weeks have been let-it-go weeks. While I feel like I’ve accomplished good things, I am still cranky that the house is a mess. Was cranky that the yard looked so bad, and ended up with a sunburn (now blistering) trying to fix it. I’ve never been good at working on jobs a little at a time, and my spurty-ness has been exacerbated with this compassionate service schedule.
Today for instance, I had planned to finally clean house and do some laundry. But I got up thinking about the sister in the ward who is passing away from cancer and the other sister who is at her bedside alone in the hospital…. so after working on my lesson I went and spent the day with them. I stayed until I had to leave to eat before DD’s play. Left there, took the kids to McDonald’s to celebrate (met ASL in the parking lot), then gymnastics, then played Mafia Wars, then Missionary meeting. I’ve accomplished good things, even “better/best” things on the good-better-best scale, but even though I know it’s good, I still wish I had gone to the gym or cleaned house or painted trim. I am never satisfied.
I did have some pretty good insights planning my lesson today. I never knew that perfection did not equal sinlessness, or that being free of sin did not mean perfection. Jesus Christ — sinless — was not perfected until his suffering was complete (Hebrews 2:10). And Noah and Seth in the Bible were perfect men, but obviously not sinless. Our afflictions perfect us in that they help us make choices that determine our one-ness with God. It’s the action part of faith: the works. My actions during affliction and persecution and trail testify the path I am seeking, either to be like God (patient, forgiving, meek, submissiive) or not (pride, anger, resentment, fear). It’s then that I demonstrate my faith to myself (God already knows what path I’ll choose), and therefore exercise my potential to be God-like, perfecting myself, becoming one with him. That really is the ultimate goal of religion: to help people become God-like, one, so like Him that all their thoughts and motivations and actions and goals are the same as His. And we can get on that path only by exercising our will during affliction, like the Savior did. That’s how sinful people can be perfect — not by being sinless, but by changing their hearts to be like God’s. I’m not sure that I’m expressing this the best way, but it makes sense in my head anyway.
Sitting by the bedside of the dying sister, another woman who was there told us that her husband prayed during his terminal illness that he wouldn’t loose his sense of humor. What an interesting thing to pray for. That’s what I want, too. I hope that in my trials, even the ultimate one, that I can retain a sense of humor.