Sometimes I am guilty of feeling like there are “important” and “less important” jobs at church. I have been taught all of my life and believe in my heart that this way of thinking is not true. Everything we do to serve is important. However, when I’m actually participating at church, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like others are more talented, smart, or capable than me, and therefore their contributions have more value than mine. So, one day I was working on something with a group of people. We all had our assignments and were doing them. In the process, I began to feel the negative feelings that I described above. So I said a silent prayer as to what I should do. And then I thought of a verse in the hymn “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go:”
There’s surely somewhere a lowly placeIn earth’s harvest fields so wideWhere I may labor through life’s short dayFor Jesus, the Crucified.
After a moment of pondering these words, I thought of several “lowly” jobs that I had done that day and the good that was accomplished because I had done them. And then I began to think in my mind, what other simple things could I do that others were not doing? Who could I smile at or say something kind to? Or what could I do to support what others were doing? What errands could I run; what small jobs could I find? After doing this, I felt happier!
I read a talk once by Howard W. Hunter that I love. Among many other great things he said:
Not all of us are going to be like [Captain] Moroni, catching the acclaim of our colleagues all day every day. Most of us will be quiet, relatively unknown folks who come and go and do our work without fanfare. To those of you who may find that lonely or frightening or just unspectacular, I say, you are “no less serviceable” than the most spectacular of your associates. You, too, are part of God’s army.
At the end of his talk he quoted this poem:
Father, where shall I work today?”And my love flowed warm and free.Then He pointed out a tiny spotAnd said, “Tend that for me.”I answered quickly, “Oh no; not that!Why, no one would ever see,No matter how well my work was done;Not that little place for me.”And the word He spoke, it was not stern;He answered me tenderly:“Ah, little one, search that heart of thine.Art thou working for them or for me?Nazareth was a little place,And so was Galilee.”
And so tomorrow, for “Thankful Thursday” I plan to give thanks for small, but good things that I’ve been able to do. It’s wonderful to give thanks for the things others (and God) do for us. But we also all have a need to know that the contributions we are making have value. Making a list like this can be a great way to tell our own selves “thank you” and also to show gratitude towards God for giving us the ability and opportunity to make a positive difference for others.
So be thinking about the small, but good things that you’ve been able to do so that tomorrow, you can add yours to my list!