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Saturday, March 26, 2011

I know you

I have always loved superheroes.

I have been intrigued by how they are so willing to help other people because they recognize that is who they are. It is in their nature to serve, help, and save. They don't do something and then expect reciprocity, they do something and if someone reciprocates-I applaud them.

Reciprocity is something to be valued. Not something to expect.

One of my church leaders from when I was a youth told me this story once. He said he was way outside of town on a date. They were at an area called Nutty-Putty caves and they were going there for a date and then heading back home in the late afternoon for the local school dance.

"My tire blew out." He said. "I didn't have tools, or a spare. We were stuck."

(Now-I didn't ask him this, but I wonder if that made the date a little more awkward.)

He told me that he wasn't sure what to do, and he knew he needed someone to help him quick.

"It was getting dark, and I wanted to at least get my date home." He stated.

He told me that he said a prayer. Nothing huge, he just asked for help and he promised that if they could have help, he would do everything he could the rest of his life to stop and help others who were stranded.

He had decided that reciprocity was something he valued.

"No more than 10 seconds after that, a truck pulled over. He hooked my car up and towed me home."

I've heard countless stories since then of this man helping others. From older women stranded in a blizzard, to ladders falling from a construction truck.

I can know what you value by what you do, more than what you say.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Stand where you are

I recently read something that made me think.

There have been many problems with the nuclear reactor in Japan. When the problems first came about, 50 workers volunteered to stay and help get things under control. They stay despite the danger of incredible radiation exposure and the time away from family, they stay because they know that is where they need to be.

Can you stand where you need to be?

I think of the story that was told of the men that were helping to carry a piano. Five of the men were carrying the piano and one less able man was carrying the stool.

Afterward one man turned to another and said, "How wonderful is that. That fragile man filled to capacity his ability."

"What are you talking about?" voiced another. "All he did was carry a stool."

"Ah, yes." said the man. "For there lies the wisdom that so many miss. If you have the power to move a piano, don't reach for the stool."

It's natural to find ways to escape the hard things. From moving across the country to letting go of a friend. Those "pianos" of our life that need lifting, and we decide to move the stool.

We turn down help with our "piano" and hope that the stool will suffice and still bring the harmony and sweet sounds that a piano can bring.

I hope next time I see a police officer, EMT, sewer worker...or piano stool mover, that I can remember their ability to stand where they are.

They stand where they are needed.

They sacrifice their strength, and at times their lives, for the need of someone else.

Because they were taught that.

Because they felt that it is right.

Because when the test comes for them to choose what they need to do, they choose what they chose so long ago.

No matter how hard that choice may be.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Judge me

I recently had a friend call me up. She was frustrated, to say the very least.

She had heard a roommate talking about her. Saying things about how she is too young to be getting married, she's just a baby and can't handle that kind of responsibility.

That phrase, "too young" has recently caught my eye.

I've found there is a difference between "mature age" and "biological age".

We all know of that person in high school that was just older. You looked at them and although they were your same age, sometimes a year or two younger, you knew they were just older.

That is how my friend is. She graduated from high school at age 16. Started college just before her 17th birthday, and now she's a year from graduating and if things go as planned for her, she'll be done with graduate school by age 22.

There's a difference there. Most 22 year old girls are barely graduating college, some debating missions, others' still trying to find what kind of person they want to be when they grow up.

We have no ability to judge someone based on what we think. If everyone listened to every wind of voices telling them what they think should be best for them; we wouldn't have 19 year old boys going on missions, 24 year olds translating ancient books, or 19 year old seniors in college getting married.

That must be why the scriptures talk about not judging those around you. Judging shines pride. I think the only judging we should sweat about is the time we will be judged after this life.

He knows our intent.

He knows our heart.

He knows our "mature age".