“Offer your whole souls as an offering unto him…” –Omni 1:26
Last Sunday we held a surprise graduation party for Andy. Afterward, our three-year old realized that she had not given her dad a gift. She was upset and tearful. Desperately, she searched the room for something to give.
Andy insisted that her congratulations and hugs had been ideal. I suggested a homemade card. She threw off our remarks and persisted to hunt for a gift.
Pleased with her goodness and willing to help, Andy asked, “Well, what kind of a gift are you wanting to give?”
By this point Lucy had taken inventory of her material goods and deemed them worthy–
“Something that I don’t like,” she said.
We laughed at her miserly gift-giving attempt. But as happens in parenting, the Spirit quickly suggested a parallel:
My Heavenly Father insists that all He wants from me is the simple heart-felt stuff. You know: gratitude, obedience, abundant prayer, an easiness to believe… my whole mind…my whole heart. But sometimes I falter at the weight of the sacrifice, and settle on a second-rate offering.
Sometimes I give him “something that I don’t like” instead—the sleepy tail end of my day for scriptures, obligatory but insincere offers to help, casual “thought prayers” (ie: in bed, supine, half-way asleep), snarky wife rather than empathetic wife, crabby too-tired mom because I disregarded my bedtime goals.
I can give better gifts.
I WILL give better gifts.
I will choose to study scriptures before I check social media. I will actually help others, rather than lame self-soothing attempts. I will pray worshipfully—emphasis on fully, which for me means either aloud and kneeling, or whispered at an open window. I will practice empathy in marriage rather than indulgent meanness. I will go to bed on time because it makes me a kinder human the next day.
These are my my gifts to God this week. Will I fail? No doubt. But this life is nothing if not time and space to repent (Alma 42:4).
What of you, my friend?
What will you give?