And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song
And hearts are brave again and arms are strong
-For All the Saints
Wherefore, seeing we are also compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and set down at the right and of the throne of God.
Lift up your heads and be comforted . . . notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made. Therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God.
Let us not waste our time saying with bitterness, "is this what I was born to do?: let us rather ask ourselves the question that was asked of Esther: "who knoweth whether thou are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
-Marjorie Pay Hinckley
The last quote is from a booklet that Sister Hinckley wrote for the women of the church several years ago entitled "Is the what I was born to do," in which she addresses the different situations that women in the church find themselves in- which are many and varied. She relates the story of Esther,t he beautiful Jewess who marries King Ashareus and finds herself in a position she never chose for herself- that of risking her own life to save the lives of all of her people. In encouraging her to find the faith to do this, her cousin Mordecai asks her "who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" or, "maybe this is what you were born to do!"
One of my greatest fears is that the longer I live my current lifestyle, a single working girl, the easier it will be to slip into a life of self gratification, excess comfort, and selfishness. This is a constant battle that I wage, sometimes more effectively than others, and I feel like I've been letting it slip lately. It is sometimes far to easy to let the question "who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" turn into the much more cynical and pessimistic "is this really what I was born to do? Really?" It takes a lot of faith to go about life with the first attitude over the second, no matter what our circumstances are. But it's much more rewarding and fulfilling, even though it can be so hard, so tiring, and so frustrating at times. But whoever said that becoming the kind of people the Lord wants us to be is easy? Despite all the struggles we have made in vain, there is still an effectual struggle to be made.
One thing I am working on doing is a suggestion from my mom. She, of all people that I know personally, has by far the most to complain about or to despair over. Yet when I go into her room late at night to tell her goodnight, I find that the thing she wants to tell me the most is how many tender mercies she received that day. Lately, she's been encouraging me to end my own day by contemplating on my own mercies. As I think about these things, it becomes a little easier to think in terms of "I am here for a reason, my life has purpose, and I will trust the Lord," and the thoughts of "is this what I was born to do?" recede, just a little each day.