September 15, 2008

pride comes before the fall ....

it has been said that "life sucks and then you die" ... though i don't totally agree with this statement, i realize it does have a bit of validity. life is hard. life is especially hard because we're human. humans make mistakes. there was only one perfect person to ever walk the earth and He is the Savior of mankind - our example. this is fact. but just because something is fact doesn't mean that it's going to be easy to accept. i want to be perfect. and i don't want to wait! i expect perfection of myself - in the things i do, the things i say, how i teach, how i treat my loved ones, how often and how well i read my scriptures and pray. i expect perfection in all of it. however, i know that Jesus Christ was the only perfect human on earth.

i know these two thoughts contradict each other but this topic wages a continual war inside my head. the conflict questions every belief i have, hoping to gain perspective. the end result is ultimately that i cannot be perfect yet. but how do i just accept that? as i stare into the beautiful faces of my students, i ache to be the person they think i am! but how can someone so imperfect be an example? how do i teach them principles that i, myself, have not mastered? and then i make a mistake. it can be any mistake - from arguing with my sister and holding a grudge against people i feel have wronged me, to doing something i know with all my heart to be wrong but i do it anyway. either way, it's a mistake. a sin. could i consider this my "fall"? but i thought pride came before the fall! isn't pride when i think i am perfect, though i'm not?

no. no, you're right. pride is also thinking that i have to be perfect - specifically: perfect on my own. how prideful is it to think that i can attain perfection on my own, with no help from those around me? pride is that of both extremes: thinking i'm too good or not good enough. so all of this turmoil inside me is just a result of pride? it must be. of course i'm not good enough! -- not by myself. i could only ever be worthy or good enough for what i am blessed with if i rely whole-heartedly on the spirit. i can't forgive others without the help of the spirit and my Savior just as much as i can't be forgiven without them.

i doubt anyone ever feels good enough, worthy enough, strong enough, or smart enough for the large "callings" they may get in life. bishop, gospel doctrine teacher, young womens' president, deacons quorum advisor, mother and father. we couldn't do any of these things without our Father in Heaven's help. true - i am very far from perfection. but that's the way i'm supposed to be. ether 12:27 - He gives me weaknesses so that i can learn to be humble, opening my heart to let Him in where He can heal me and make me strong. the greatest gift of all: Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, for my sins, so that i can be forgiven, can forgive, can be made humble, and made stronger. what a beautiful plan. what a beautiful life.