Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on the Road to Damascus

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Waiting on the Road to Damascus, by Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

When I eat things, I often save for last the portions I think will taste the best. In trail mix, I've been known to eat the raisins first. With children's cereal, the marshmallows (if you can call them that) are almost left floating in the milk after the plain pieces have been consumed.

This approach to dining can be problematic when I'm sharing with my wife. You see, she is of the persuasion that one should eat the good things first; that way, if you become full, you can set aside what you don't really like, instead of pushing through the pain to finish the good stuff. When we share something, if I'm not careful, she'll finish all the good stuff before I finish the "raisins"! (At least it makes me look selfless, albeit secretly disappointed.)

Which method is better? Is it a life principle to complete enjoyable things before doing those that may be unpleasant? I hope not, because I'm trying to teach my children to do their homework soon (and without doddeling) so they can enjoy playing before other chores need to be done.

In his address, President Uchtdorf spoke of those waiting on the road to Damascus who put off doing the little things and miss out on the greater reward. To stretch a comparison, if I wait too long while sharing a treat with my wife, I won't get the satisfaction that comes from something sweet. Likewise, if I wait to take the little steps of faith, I won't realize the great potential in me and others.

My daughter was asked to give a talk at church about the gospel being preached in all the world. Luckily, we fed the full-time missionaries days before her talk, and she took the opportunity to ask them for their advice. (She later quoted them in her talk!) Their lesson for us was to be good examples. In the time since then, we've noticed instances of being examples, and have returned to it by saying, for example, "What could you have done to be a good example?"

President Uchtdorf also taught about example. He said, "the most effective way to preach the gospel is through example." In his remarks, he used a quote attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi:

Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.

If I'm honest—and I try to be—what I remember most vividly from all of this past general conference these months later is this part of this talk.

Why does it stick so firmly in my mind? Perhaps because I need to be a better example. Perhaps because I have great examples around me.

I can't finish without clarifying something. I like desserts, and I like sharing desserts with my wife. She's a great example in many ways, but when we recently shared some bridge mix, she chose my favorite piece of chocolate at the beginning, and promptly gave it to me!

Isn't she an angel?

1 thought:

Maryann said...

Unfortunately I opened a mix today and ate everything but the raisins. Luckily you love raisins. ;)

I don't see why we should force ourselves to eat the stuff we don't really want in the first place... So I eat the good stuff first.