|Photo by my sister-in-law, Melinda.|
Today started off horribly. I woke up late with a long to-do list nagging me from the back of my mind. 15 minutes later the repairman came, ruining my plans for showering and breakfast. I was mean to my husband and we were both very grouchy when he dropped me off for school. By 10:30 in the morning, my day seemed destined to be a disaster. I walked into my choir class brooding and downtrodden.
But there is something healing about singing.
Sometimes I let myself forget the meaning of the hymns that I sing in Sacrament Meeting and go only mouthing the words without worshiping God like I really should. I'm grateful to be part of a choir that meets during the week and helps me to connect with God through song.
As usual, when the rehearsal started, I was wrapped up in the pity-party being thrown in my head, thinking about how dreary my day was and how much more dreariness I had to slug through before I could crawl into bed. I read the following words in my music, and they basically slapped me in the face.
O thou that art the Light
of the minds that know thee,
the Life of the souls that love thee,
and the Strength of the wills that serve thee:
help us to know thee that truly love thee,
and so to love thee that we might fully serve thee,
whom to serve is perfect freedom,
-Music by Gabriel Jackson, Text by St. Augustine of Hippo
This piece reminded me that the Lord has given me everything I have - my family, my education, my talents, my body, my life, my breath - and that I should not be complaining but rejoicing in my blessings and serving Him whom I love so dearly. I love how King Benjamin explains this concept in Mosiah 2:
"I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants....
"And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast? And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you."
Even though I am an "unprofitable servant" and a bit of a stinker sometimes, Christ still loves me. He is my Light, my Life, my Strength, my joy, my reason to rejoice. I strive to serve Him not because I think I can ever repay Him, but because I love Him and I have found that serving Him brings me perfect joy, and perfect freedom. The Atonement is incredible. Praise be to His name!