Today I read Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk "The Laborers in the Vineyard.
What a great message!
I am ashamed to admit that for many years I walked around drinking pickle juice.
"It's not fair!" crept into my thoughts and words more often than I like to admit.
"It's not fair... someone lost a few pounds when I've been working at it forever!"
"It's not fair... someone makes more money than we do when I work my butt off for hand-me-downs and homemade bread."
"It's not fair... that someone else kids get all the breaks and mine are left disappointed on the side lines."
I wasted a lot of time with "it's not fair."
Then I went to see a chiropractor when I was pregnant, after a car accident and while I had my first experience with chicken pox. (talk about "not fair").
This doctor opened my sees to the possibilities in letting go and letting god that I never recognized in a billion Primary and Sunday School lessons.
Elder Holland's talk reminded me of that.
"all receive the same wage in spite of the different hours of labor." It's what the agreed to.
Let's face it. The laborers that worked all day were the lucky ones. They didn't have to worry all day about where the next meal was coming from or how their family would make it to the next paycheck. Too often I would forget that, yes, I was working hard in the gospel, but I was the lucky one. Compassion was extended from the beginning. The Lord wasn't letting me bob around drowning waiting for the sharks to eat me for the waves swallow me.
Yet, envy has been a thorn in my side that I often must chase away. Still...
"We are not diminished when someone else is added upon."
Ha! This is pride! I am fighting it!
"The race we are really in is the race against sin."
Seriously! The rat race is all about comparing our selves to others and we miss that is should be about comparing ourselves to what we did yesterday. Am I moving forward? Am I a better person today than I was yesterday?
Down goes another jar of pickle juice.
"coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning some else improve your self-image."
So "PLAY NICE!" (evil head spinning thing like Woody in Toy Story).
I also loved the second point Elder Holland made about letting go of the past and accept the gifts of the now.
"The formula of faith is to hold on, work on, see it through, and let the distress of earlier hours - real or imagined - fall away in the abundance of the final reward. Don't dwell on old issues or grievances."
I think this is what forgiveness is on our part. We can not forgive as the Savior forgives. We don't need to give permission for wrongs of the past. To forgive we just need to let go in faith and allow Jesus Christ to carry the burden for us. This is the kind of forgiveness that I can give.
I allow others to forgive me....
I forgive myself for...
I trust God and the Savior and I freely allow Them to carry past hurt, disappointment, frustration, anger, pain, etc. for me.
At least I'm working on that.
God is patient. God is good. God is forgiving. God is generous. God is compassionate. God is full of grave. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can heal ALL wounds.
There is always time to put down the burden and hold the hand of the Savior.
What a great talk and a great reminder to move forward in faith!
What did you learn?