Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This post is an accumulation of my thoughts. It has nothing to do with any of my chidren, their spouses, my grandchildren, my parents, brothers or sisters, in-laws, nieces or nephews, aunts, uncles or cousins. Nor is it about any of my friends or acquaintences. If you read this and think it is about you, it is purely coincidental. With that in mind, read on...

I've been listening to Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. The other day I listened to the part where Harry, Ron and Hermione have decided to go to Hogwarts but apparate into Hogsmeade and almost get caught. Aberforth Dumbledore, who runs the Hogshead pub invites them in and saves their lives. Aberforth and Harry have a conversation about the task that Professor Dumbledore has left Harry:

Harry Potter: "It's...he left me a job."
Aberforth: "Did he now? Nice job, I hope? Pleasant? Easy?
Sort of thing you'd expect an unqualified wizard kid to be
able to do without overstretching themselves?"
Harry Potter: "I-it's not easy, no. But I've got to -"
Aberforth: "Got to? Why got to? He's dead, isn't he? Let it go,
boy, before you follow him! Save yourself!"

I wish I could have found this whole conversation, because I don't have my books with me, but he goes on to tell Harry that he should just "get someone else to do it." I've thought about this conversation for the past couple of days, probably partly due to my own guilt feelings.

When the Stake Music director called me to ask me to play the organ for Stake Conference, I really hesitated. I've never played any organ that didn't have pre-set stops, and as it turned out I had to email a friend in the States to get her to help me with the stops for Stake Conference. It turned out okay, but I realized later what a position I had put the Stake Music Director in. I told her that I would do it and just get my friend to help me with the stops, but I think she still thought I would turn it down when I saw that it didn't have pre-sets. It made me wonder why I couldn't have said, "Of course I'll do it the best that I can." I had asked her if there was anyone else to play but she said no, the regular organist was "on holiday" and I was the only one left. It also made me think of other times when I've tried to hedge out of callings or other things. I justified my actions by thinking and saying that I wasn't qualified and that someone else could do a much better job.

I think the Lord tries to give us opportunites. If we "shirk" our duty (We all have work, let no one shirk*...) and refuse to do it - no matter how we have justified our reason in turning it down - we are the ones who miss out. Do we not think the Lord can find another person who can do it just as well, if not better and easier than us? Maybe this is because we are afraid of making a mistake, or of failing altogether.

Michael Jordan said, "I've missed over 9.000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot...and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

One of my favorite "volunteers" is Donkey in Shrek. I love it when he jumps up and down and says, "Pick me! Pick me!" Have you ever been at church when they ask for someone to say the closing or opening prayer, like in Sunday School class? Not a whole lot of people jump up and say, "Pick me! Pick me!" :0) Doesn't it also seem like the same people volunteer, not only to say the prayer, but to read the quote in class, or be the one to write on the chalkboard?

I don't know if I will ever be one of those people who always volunteer for things, but I do know that this experience has taught me to at least try to be more willing to accept assignements when I'm asked...without whining. And most importantly, to try to accept them with at least a bit of grace. Maybe instead of telling them to pick someone else, I can do what Survival Knife did one time when he was little. I was going to go to the store and my husband asked me if I was going to take any of the kids with me. Survival Knife started running towards me, and pointing at himself said, "Take him! Take him!"

*From the hymn Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel


keira said...

Mom, is that post about me?

J/K ;o)

Two of my favorite quotes are from Thomas Edison: "I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work" and "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Delirious said...

This post is about me, isn't it?

Jk...couldn't help saying that after seeing what Keira wrote. ;)

Stick said...

I have always adopted the stance within the church that I would never turn down a calling. I learned a long time ago from a quote I heard, "The Lord qualifies those he calls." We may not think we can do a calling, but the Lord knows we can...with his help. I am currently subbing during the day, and working at night. I asked myself, WHY? How can I do this? However, I asked the Lord to help find work to support our family, and he did. If this is what I must do, so be it. I need to do my part, and show the. Lord that I am willing, along with being grateful for what I have. The Lord will bless us to do what we ask for in faith, and bless us to do that which he asks of us.

Bullet for Babs said...

Its pretty sad that you have to put a disclaimer Mom. I have also not been shirking work. Stacy and I have 3 callings now. We recently got called to be on the Stake Youth Committee. We also do nursery twice a month now, instead of just once. And also scouts. And I've also been going on splits with the missionaries when they need it. I'm hoping the Lord will start blessing me because of all this. I'm waiting....anytime now...:) I'm just kidding. Thats just me being snarky.

Lindsay-Weaver said...

I just turned down a calling, and I feel bad about it now. I wish they'd have given me more than five minutes to think through the details, though. I asked if I could think about it and they pretty much told me they wanted an answer that night. If they'd have given me a chance to think it over, I would've probably said yes, but it seemed such an overwhelming chore at the time. I wish I was the type that would think "pick me, pick me", but I think "pick her, pick her" instead. lol j/k :)

Nene said...

Babs, I love that word, "snarky"!

Inklings said...

Yes, I agree with all of this, which is why we are telling the bishop Sunday that we will be cub scout leaders, but when I look around at the very MANY people in our ward wirth no callings at all, I wonder if sometimes they just pick the same ones over and over again because they know they will do it. I really think every person in the ward needs a job before they start asking people to do multiple jobs. I have been in meetings where they had to pick people to do jobs and there was no prayer, not that much thought, just a "Oh, yeah, let's get them to do that," but I also know that the Lord blesses the one who accepts those callings anyway. I guess that's why I take them and why I take so many of the callings other people turn down.
So this was really about me, huh? JK :0)

my word verification is speau - a different spelling, but could it be Hermione's society to protect house elves? Or in this case, ward elves?