Monday, November 10, 2014

The Definitive Ranking of Trials.

The other day I had an experience where I was sitting around with a group of women who were, as righteously as possible they could be, ranking the women they knew and the trials and challenges of their lives.  I am not being sarcastic.  I am being serious.  They were trying to do a good deed.  They were trying to help people...as they sat and ranked trials.

I've been thinking about this for some time now, the idea of trials and as Buzzfeed would call it "The definitive ranking of trials."

I've been wondering why it is in human nature that we have to try and put a number or a some type of scale on everything.  The fastest or smartest or prettiest or for this post.... the hardest.  Even recently, someone close to me got a kidney stone.  Actually two people ironically.  But that's beside the point.  Whenever I talked to someone about the kidney stone almost everyone's instant response is, "I hear that is worse than labor!"  OR "I've had both a kidney stone and a child and the kidney stone is worse."

Now maybe that is true or maybe it's not.    Clearly, as I watched said person uncontrollably shaking in unimaginable pain just begging for some type of morphine.... wasn't that enough to know that he was going through a tough time?  Wasn't the look of pain so great that I knew he was being pushed beyond his limits and that I should have sympathy for him?  Why do we have to put a measure of how painful or how hard or how bad?

I guess the reason why I am bothered by the "definitive ranking of trials" is because of my previous statement.  It's like there is only so much kindness or sympathy allotted in the world.  If a trial isn't hard enough you don't deserve sympathy, you don't deserve kindness.

I couldn't help but wonder if I told that group of women my trials where would they have ranked me?  I wonder if I have gone through enough hard things to be worthy of making the list of possible speakers at this upcoming event.  Honestly I don't know.

So badly I wish I could view everyone as God views them.  Love them as He does.  Be as kind and wonderful as I know I should.  Sometimes I get down because so badly I want that but I know I am far from it.

The other day I was complaining about someone who did something pretty terrible. Jason's response was the kick in the pants that I so badly needed.  "I wonder if we'll get to heaven and see the trials and disabilities he had in this life and just be blown away with how well he got along."

What an awesome perspective.  Not to think that everyone else besides us have disabilities..... but to remember and realize this life is a test for everyone.  Everyone is being tried and tested to the best of their limits... whether the test or trial looks difficult to us or not doesn't matter.  It's not our place.  We are not the Judge.  And everyday I am so grateful for that.

Our job in our own individual way is to help each other become who we are supposed to be.  I think of C.S. Lewis quote, "You've never met a mere mortal."  We all are in the mix of a trial with the purpose of becoming something greater.  No matter what that trial looks like on the outside to anyone else.

I listened to my favorite pep talk by President Hinckley again the other day.  His dedication to the Gordon B. Hinckley building at BYU-IDAHO.
Every time I listen to this talk, I feel I can see a little bit more of how God sees me.  Of what God wants from me.

There is no end in sight of the goodness you can do. 

Sometimes I get so depressed wondering what my purpose is.  What am I fighting for.  How do I want to become excellent.  And then I listen to President Hinckley and it hits me so strong.  We all have gifts and talents.  We all have a direct and individual mission of how we can draw others towards God.

Now be faithful, be true, go forward, be ambitious, don't short circuit yourselves, don't stop now.  Keep going, keep going.  Educate your minds and your spirit and never loose sight of the fact that you are a child of God with a divine destiny and capable of great and good and wonderful things.  Don't sell yourself short, don't cheapen yourselves, you know who you are, you know that you are a child of God and that your Heavenly Father expects something great and noble and good of each of you.

When I hear President Hinckly say that, I feel something, I yearn for something, something so much bigger than me.  And so badly that is what I want.  That is what I need to focus on.  This is where I should be headed.

Now I got a little off track.... oops.  Back to trials.  I wish that we could see how difficult life is for everyone.  Especially now when lives are so public.  We have this perception that there exists a picture perfect life.  My friend today stated, "I just want to be normal."  Being the solver not the empathetic friend that I am, I responded with, "There is no such thing as normal."  Ok not really, I think I really just said I was sorry.  But so badly I wanted to say it.  Everyone struggles.  Everyone goes through hard things.  And honestly, I think this fact is why I believe in a God.  I want to believe there is a purpose behind the fight.  A reason to reach higher and be better.

So why did I write this post?  Because I want a kick in the pants.  I want to be more loving.   I want to be more kind.  I want to be my sympathetic.  I need to remember that everyone is in the midst of a test and I should try and be helpful no matter how big or little or easy or hard their lot might seem.