A few months back I did a lot of service for someone I care deeply for. I spent several hours helping him or her with tasks that were hard on me physically and emotionally, but I did it anyway because I love this person. Last week, however, when this person was talking about this trial and listing off people who had given great service, I wasn’t mentioned. I just half-smiled and shrugged and moved on, knowing that God remembers what I did and that I remember what I did, and that’s good enough for me.
It got me thinking, though: How many times have I given all of my heart or time or energy to someone because I love them, and I felt that they didn’t recognize my love and service? To be fair, I’m not a parent yet, so frankly I’m being a HUGE hypocrite right now, but still. How many hours of my work and suffering on behalf of beloved fellow humans have been forgotten?
This all reminded me of this awesome post I read the other day by Andrew Bevevino (www.endkwote.wordpress.com) called “What if There Isn’t.” Truly, it was so, so good, and it deserves a lot more analysis and attention than I am going to give it, but you should read it because it has made my life better.
He tells the story of a woman who lives her entire life doing good because she believes in God and wants to be like Him. When she dies she is frail and sickly because of all the service she gave, though everyone remembers her lovingly and gratefully. Her soul passes into a place of pure whiteness and she waits for God to come and claim His faithful servant, but He never comes. She waits in the whiteness for the rest of time, questioning her faith in God and whether her life had been spent correctly. I love love love the last few lines:
But after all those questions, and after all those answers, after convincing herself that God isn’t real, then changing her mind, then changing back again, she arrived at one, final question.
Does it matter?
Dear Reader, I wonder if we should do good things because we are expecting some kind of reward in this life or the next, or if we should do good things just because they are good.
You can view the full post here:
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(P.S. Y’all know I’m Mormon, so if you’re interested, this is what I believe about our purpose in this life and what will happen in the life to come: http://www.mormon.org/beliefs/plan-of-salvation)