We were asked to speak in our new ward this upcoming week. I don’t know why but having to give talks is way more difficult for me to prepare for then giving a lesson. A lesson you can ask questions and learn from others where in a talk you just talk! Our topic is broad, but difficult. The topic seems so easy, “becoming more Christ-like”. Becoming more Christ-like…you know, your basic Sunday school answers: be nice to others, go to church, pray, read your scriptures, etc, etc. It seems so easy. But how can I give a talk of becoming more Christ-like when he is that–Christ. It’s intimidating because I want to make it right. As I listened to general conference last weekend there were a few thoughts that stood out to me for this specific topic. One of the most prominent in my mind while listening was service. There was some talk about cell phones and social media in general conference. I always feel like there’s improvement for me in this category. It’s just ridiculous how sucked in any of us can get in to something that really doesn’t give us lasting value. A quote I wrote down a while back: “… we have unprecedented mass entertainment and mass communications, but so many lonely crowds. The togetherness of technology is no substitute for the family” Elder Maxwell. I mean, isn’t that the truth!? So many lonely crowds, yet never has the ability to communicate with other been so in our face? But is it really that communicating that leaves you inspired and whole again like when you talk to a friend who seems to know exactly what you need to hear after maybe a not so easy day?
I read a mutual friend’s post the other day on Facebook, she said: “Today it was brought to my attention, that it’s possible others out there feel the same we do. We are a married, kidless couple, and ave found being involved at church is HARD! We have shed tears and had many talks about being left out of conversations or activities. It has even been said to our face in one particular instance, it is because we don’t have kids. We are outgoing, kid loving people! Is there anyone out there who has experienced this that has advice or help for us in this position?”
Now, this isn’t a plug in to say everyone who doesn’t have kids feels this way or anything of the such. My point in sharing this, is that there are people all around us, whether in church or in the supermarket who have struggles, who feel lonely and may need a friend or a smile. We are here on earth, as Christ so perfectly demonstrated, to notice and serve those around us. Just like an experience of mine on my mission when my companion and I were reading emails from home on our i-pads at the mall. If I had not looked up to see a man who appeared to be hungry by his brief glance at my meal I had just bought, I may not have felt the spirit inside me impress upon my heart that he needed that food more than I did. And even more importantly, I may not have felt that indescribable feeling after giving it to him as my companion and I walked off of Christ’s perfect love for that man sitting on that couch that day. When we become too consumed in our own little world around us, we will miss incredible moments to be made with those around us by serving each other.
One of my favorite scriptures, Luke 9:24
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it
Isn’t that really what becoming Christ-like is all about? Serving others? I am so so grateful for people in my life, whether close family or friends or strangers on the street, who have noticed and served me when I needed it so much. It means more than they realize. I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, for His example of true selfless service to me. I can’t say enough of Him, but that I am forever grateful.