And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren. (2 Nephi 24:24)
I want to do that. I want to be that. Not that, specifically—I don’t want to be Moses or Joseph Smith. But I want to “do much good”, to be an instrument in God’s hands, to have exceeding faith and work mighty wonders, to do great things, to help and uplift and inspire others.
But unlike Lehi, who says he has “no other object save it be the everlasting welfare of [their] souls” (2 Nephi 2:30), I must confess that I do have ulterior motives. I want others to think I’m good, special, unique. I want to leave a mark on this world when I move on. I want it to be noticed that I was here.
How vain and self-centered is that?
As I contemplated this thought and chastised myself in my journal for not being humble enough, listing my faults and shortcomings, I seemed to hear the Spirit speak to me as a friend might:
Karlene, stop that this minute! You are not to write one more negative thing about yourself. You are not to speak it. If you think it, thrust it from your mind quickly.
Yes, you have human frailties and weaknesses, but this rehearsing of them is not helpful. Still your mind and I will tell you what you should know.
You have a work to do in this world, as does everyone. You will not be able to do that work if you allow yourself to be crippled by these thoughts. You need the strength of your ego to pull you forward when things are difficult—and they will be difficult.
As long as you remember and always acknowledge that your skills and gifts are from God, He can keep you on the humble side of the line.
Did I just get chewed out for trying to be humble?
That was not humility. That was faithlessness. There is a difference.
For me, this walk between pride and humility is a tightrope that I am constantly slipping from. The only way I can walk it is hand in hand with the Lord. He tells me something to do. I go do it. How it turns out, the end result, is none of my business. In that way, I can leave my mark for Him—however, great or small it turns out to be.
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