Thursday, September 28, 2006
DOING THE BEST I CAN...
A couple of quotes I've come across this week...
"We all occupy diversified stations in the world, and in the kingdom of God. Those who do right, and seek the glory of the Father in heaven, whether their knowledge be little or much, or whether they can do little or much, if they do the very best they know how, they are perfect... "Be ye as perfect as you can," for that is all we can do, though it is written, "Be ye perfect as your father who is in heaven is perfect." To be as perfect as we possibly can, according to our knowledge, is to be just as perfect as our Father in heaven is. He cannot be any more perfect than he knows how, any more than we. When we are doing as well as we know how, in the sphere and station which we occupy here, we are justified."
-- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:129-130.
"It is reported that someone once challenged the work of Mother Teresa, the holy woman who ministered to the poorest outcasts in Calcutta, India, on the grounds that she could never succeed at what she was trying to do. No matter how hard she worked, her antagonist insisted, there would be more of the poor and sick tomorrow than there were today, and all her efforts could never even make a dent in the problem. Since she could never hope to succeed, why did she water her effots in a losing cause? Mother Teresa's answer was a classic. "God does not require that I succeed," she replied, "only that I do what I can." And that is the gospel truth."
-- Stephen E. Robinson, Believing Christ
I've often felt that since I'm so flawed, that it is hopeless to overcome my shortcomings. "I'm not good enough." "I'm too different to be worthy of anyone's love". "I'm never going to make it back to Heaven anyway, so why try." "I'm gay, so with that strike against me, I might as well give up". Of course, that is what the Adversary exactly wants me to think.
But I'm slowly learning that being gay makes me no more flawed than anyone else. (Wow, that's been a hard lesson!) In many ways, it gives me gifts and sensitivities I may not have had otherwise. I may be different, but we all are different! I need to stop worrying about those differences and get over it and learn to live and love.
Guess what? I'm imperfect! I'm daily tempted! I'm daily discouraged at my shortcomings of dealing with my "issues" and temptations. I'm daily reminded of my imperfections. Okay, I get it... I've just got to do the BEST I CAN, right?
But, do I have to be tempted so hard? Two days ago, I walked past a guy who works for me. He's extremely good looking and very fit and works out at a gym regularly. He works directly under me. We were walking in opposite directions toward each other in a narrow hallway where we had to turn sideways to pass. He wore a tight black tee-shirt. We paused when we passed. He smiled. I smiled. In my "touchy-feely" way, I naturally allowed my hand to brush along his abs and pat them firmly as I passed. They were firm and rippled to the touch. I was stunned by how hard they were! I melted as I kept going, struggling to walk as my legs shook with weakness. Yesterday, I gave him a shoulder rub and squeezed his hard arms as we discussed a project we're working on together. He was sitting at the computer and I stood behind him rubbing his body caressingly. He allows me to do so with no resistance or any sign of coiling or repulsiveness from my touches or advances. I know where I'm going with this and it isn't good. I've got to get hold of myself. I'm his boss. He's married. I'm married... What am I doing?
Now some may say that I'm never going to succeed to walk this tight-rope balancing act, that I'm going to slip and fall anyway, so why do I put myself through the test at all. They may scoff at my efforts to fight these feelings and that I'm not going to succeed in holding my marriage together as a gay man, because sooner or later I'm going to succumb to these attractions, so why am I forcing my wife and family to endure the impossible journey with me, precariously balanced on my shoulders on that tight-rope from one platform to another?
I don't need to succeed any more than Mother Teresa succeeded in her futile work.
Bottom line: I know what I know. I'm responsible for this knowledge and what I do with it. So why do I slip so easily?
Duh... BECAUSE I'M IMPERFECT!
Perfection... It isn't easy! God knows it isn't easy as well! He knows this HELL I'm living. He does not require that I SUCCEED! He asks, instead, that I DO THE BEST I CAN with what I know!
As Brigham Young said, I cannot be more perfect than I know how...
So, why do I have to "know" as much as I do?