Making a Difference

You know when you go on vacation and you see so many breathtaking views and have so many rich experiences and then you try to share all of that with one photo and it just cannot capture the fullness of your experience in that single photo, yet you want so desperately to share with that person the fullness of your experiences. Have you felt that before?

I spent the day at an enriching conference that has had a powerful impact on me. I wish I could capture the power of it and somehow share that with you, but alas I will simply share with you one single beautiful “photo” that I took while I was there. This thought:

“We all have different ways

of making a difference.”

We limit ourselves when we sit around and wait until God tells us what to do. The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, tells a story centered on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal world of conformity and contentment. Within this community, they are given their life assignment at age twelve. These various jobs have been expertly chosen by the leaders of the community who watched and studied the children for twelve years taking note of their capabilities. Then at a big ceremony, all the twelve years old receive their assignment and discover how they will contribute to their society.  Many grab a hold of a similar frame of thinking waiting to have revealed to them what their unique work will be and how they will contribute to God’s work.  

God doesn’t want us to stand around and wait to be told how to go about creating goodness with our lives. Even Christ said, “It is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant…men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness…”

In an interview with Dr. Finlayson-Fife she said, “I believe God wants us to get busy and do what we can to make the world better. God wants us to not be commanded in all things, and use our capacities to make a difference. I believe God blesses us with inspiration and capacity to make a difference, but we have to do the work first. We have to truly desire to do good and use the capacities we have;  We have to be willing to stick our necks out, in any meaningful effort to create or affect something. This is faith. Your desire, your effort makes you more able to receive inspiration or insight into how a problem might be solved or to feel what direction might be best. But I don’t think it’s all predetermined and we should therefore wait for the ‘correct answers’.  I believe God is in relationship with us and will offer things to us as we demonstrate the desire to create a better world—When we are truly seeking, as manifested through our behavior.”

Maybe, rather than being anxious about trying to figure out what the specific work is that you’re supposed to be doing, focus on finding ways you can use your skills, desires, talents, knowledge, and abilities to create goodness. Todd. D. Christofferson once said, “I know that beyond desiring His help, we must exert ourselves…take responsibility and go to work so that there is something for God to help us with.”