I have been pondering how there are so many people within our circles of influence who make up our village, who strengthen our tribe (family) and who also depend on us to strengthen theirs.
One year ago, as work would have it (we transport our local college athletic teams to their games throughout the northwest), the basketball team began their season, and our driver noticed that a few of these young men, in their early 20’s, were especially kind, had clean language and dress, and lived as the Savior in word and deed, even as they played basketball. He was surprised and wondered why. At times the driver would let them on and off the bus, and he would see them reading their scriptures, specifically, the Bible and Book of Mormon (which is another testament of Jesus Christ, written about God’s dealings with the people on the American Continent).
Over the course of a couple of months, the driver began conversations with these young men, during which time some missionaries happened to knock on his family’s door, and began teaching them lessons about faith, repentance, and baptism that were focused on our Savior Jesus Christ. The driver began reading scriptures with his wife, then his family, and he found new joy, hope, forgiveness and meaning in his life that he never knew possible. All of a sudden he realized there were people all around him buoying him and his family up. There were people he worked with, people he knew from years ago, missionaries, neighbors and friends, who all chose to act and do their small insignificant parts which cumulatively made the difference and gave them a village. This support enhanced his family’s newfound faith and the goodness already made manifest in their desire to choose God, and moved them forward in faith to be baptized as Christ commanded.
I have a bookmark that says, “When you CHOOSE God, you choose to be CHANGED.” It has been beautiful to witness the change this family chose. This goodly family has grown and become closer to one another and to their loving Father in Heaven because of God’s love and because of their village. That is the beauty of a village.
Our village helps us support one another as humans, spiritual beings, and children of a God who loves each of us, and who desires each one of us to return to him and live eternally.
My family has a tradition: during dinner, each member of the family reports on something nice they did for someone that day, or something they saw another member of our family do for someone. I love focusing on being God’s hands here upon the earth. To love, serve and bless others in any way we can, as He would. We can pray for these opportunities and desire them, then choose to act on them when they come into our minds and hearts. I believe we have tremendous power and influence to bless those we come in contact with each day, whether it’s our families, neighbors, colleagues or strangers.
An INVITATION for TOMORROW: every errand you run, every person you come in contact with … SEARCH, find the people God placed in your path today. You really didn’t run out of milk just to go to the store and get more! Who can you lift TODAY?
My motto this past year has been, “Never suppress a generous thought.” It has served me well and helped me notice more fully the daily opportunities to look outside myself and love and serve those in my path.
Thank you for being a part of my village! I endeavor to lift yours!
In love and hope,