Good Morning Y’all.
“God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called”.
Has anyone else ever heard that quote? I have; quite a few times in fact! Enough times where I can easily remember it when certain situations arise. But knowing that quote and living it out are two entirely different things. It is tough to submit your will to that of the Father while feeling unqualified and unsure how you’ll be able to rise to the task.
I grapple with this a lot. I don’t like moving forward with something, or completing a task, unless I feel absolutely certain that I know what I’m doing and am able to deliver the end result. Often, I stew something over quietly for a long time before I take steps forward, I hesitate, or I say no altogether. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! There is a certain degree of merit to being careful with what you agree to take on especially in a world as frantic as ours.
This is a character trait that I’ve long-held. I’d go as far to say that I was either born with it, or developed it very early on. The reason being this; my family has stories of how I’ve shown that trait as early as kindergarten. My parents were called in to the school for a meeting with my kindergarten teacher because I didn’t draw faces on any of the people or animals in my pictures. As the story goes she was concerned there was a deep psychological issue rooted within me causing me to not draw faces. Was she reading a bit too much into my art and art therapy? Yeah probably! My parents left the meeting and later asked me directly (but casually) why I didn’t draw faces on my pictures. My four-year old self calmly and firmly responded that I didn’t know how to correctly draw faces, therefore I wasn’t going to draw them until I knew for sure how to so I didn’t risk messing up my whole picture! That logic still resonates with me twenty years later.
Seeing as this trait has been part of who I am for so long I like to believe that Heavenly Father has a pretty good understanding of it, and a pretty clear picture of my stubbornness and hesitance. Does that stop him from challenging me to do things I’m not comfortable with or to complete tasks before I’m ready for them. Of course not. That’s not his jam, and it’s part of my belief system that being comfortable and just hanging out for the 80-100 years before we pass on is not our purpose here on earth. But let me tell you; it sure can make life interesting, and can cause quite a few times of dissonance between me and Heavenly Father!
I’m in the thick of one of those times as we speak. I’m not ready to do something that Heavenly Father has proposed through revelation to local priesthood leaders. I’m not ready to contend with his wishes (or the wishes of others) on this task right now. Honestly, it’s something I’ve dreaded happening since soon after joining the church. Flash forward four and a half years, and I still feel no closer to being ready. In fact, I feel so far away from being ready that I was caught off guard when I was asked and burst into tears at church in front of others. The situation was made even more uncomfortable by the fact that my reaction wasn’t expected, and led to an even more uncomfortable conversation being myself and said priesthood leader. Yeah, pretty embarrassing and I’m not feeling like showing my face around there anytime soon. I’d rather hide at home under my covers.
At the same time that I’m dealing with that and all of the heavy emotions it brings up I can hear Heavenly Father’s whispers to trust him. That despite the pain he knows the very suggestion of this task is causing, and will continue to cause if I say yes, it has a purpose. A profound purpose that has the opportunity to do so much in my life and to my heart. But y’all that pain is no easy burden to bear.
So here I sit, eyes welled up with tears, trying to grapple with both sides of this issue were the arguments of each side resonate so clearly with me. And honestly I’m at a loss.
That’s not to say that either side has won. There is no victory. No clear answer yet. So for now I’m trudging through it trying to discern which path to take; which side to say yes to.
*One of the many talks that I’ve read that has helped me as I’ve been weighing both sides of the argument is from the October of 2017 LDS General Conference. It is titled Turn to the Lord by Bishop W. Christopher Waddell and can be found here.