It made me think. As I sat in the relief society room and looked around at all the talent and spiritual gifts in that room, I was a little awestruck. There are so many remarkable people in my ward family that have been blessed with really wonderful abilities.
We have "Scriptorians" who have a terrific grasp of the scriptures-
people who are especially great at caring for those who have needs-
many who are helpful with administrative tasks-
or wise beyond their years and great at articulating that wisdom so that the rest of us can benefit from it-
we have people who have an uncanny ability to love others ( like our current RS president)
We have great teachers and speakers.
I could go on forever.
One of the things that I think I have been blessed with is a spiritual gift that most might not think of as a spiritual gift.
But the more I study and reflect on it, the more I do.
It is the blessing of being content.
I love the scripture in Phillipians 4:11:
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
This is a little ironic to me. It was the Apostle Paul who said this and Paul accomplished some truly amazing things during his life. He was a prolific missionary. He wrote some of the most profound passages of scipture ever. He was an example of one of the true great "ministerers" of the church. He traveled ALL OVER during his relatively short life preaching the gospel to anyone and everyone that would hear it. Some might think of Paul as being someone who was relentlessly driven. But it appears that he, also, was one that valued contentment. I like the two verses before these where Paul refers to God as a "God of peace" and tells us how to have that peace with us. I think that we DO worship a God of peace and he wants us to feel of his peace every single day of our lives.
That is not to say that it's not good to be goal oriented. I pretty much set several new year's resolutions every year and more often than not, I do them. I remember the year I resolved to cook more for my family each week. That was big for me. I hate to cook. It wasn't easy. But I did it. We have set financial goals as a family and are slowly working toward them. I have set fitness goals every year for the last 10 years and have reached most of them. I set spiritual goals as well to go to the temple more often or read scripture so much a day...
In fact, I was listening to a talk from Sheri Dew the other day that rang true to me as well. She said, "the status quo is unispiring. Our spirits CRAVE to progress, and if we aren't moving forward, we're not happy. We believe in progression, and progression by design is difficult. How inspiring would it have been if our Father had said, "be ye therefore mediocre"? Though our knees buckle at times under life's pressures, none of us wants to stay just like we are. Embedded within our spirits is the need to become more and more like our Father."
So the thing that I have figured out is that there must be a sweet spot in the midst of the two. Paul and Sheri are both right. I am grateful today for the gift of contentment and for the example of Paul because I don't feel the need to constantly be driven to excel in everything I do but yet I love the feeling of making progress.