I've been doing a lot of thinking (in case you haven't heard) lately. I've been putting together THE definition of who I am, but more importantly, who I want to be. Today, all of the pieces of that puzzle came together as I sat in our Sunday School lesson. About two weeks ago I had conversation with someone who knows me pretty well; someone I truly respect. He mentioned to me that it seemed that I hadn't decided in my life where I was/wasn't willing to compromise my standards. In my head I had this idea of who I wanted to be and what it would take to get there (I know, none of this is new...I promise, it's coming), but I wasn't really living the standards I claimed to hold. I would say one thing, and then do something similar, but not quite in line with that idea. What I decided at that time was that I needed to be consistent in what I say and what I do. I needed to uphold those standards.
In General Conference a few weeks ago, President Monson announced that the age for missionaries to apply for missionary service had been lowered from 19 to 18 for guys, and from 21 to 19 for girls. Someone stated today a stat that I had heard already this week, but that the number of applications for missionary service had increased from an average of 1,000 to 4,000. That is HUGE! This person also brought out the point that has been on my mind since conference weekend, and that is that the Lord is hastening His work on the earth. There isn't time to be lax, or to settle, or to permit myself to lower my standards. Hearing this statement from the mouth of someone else helped me see that I wasn't being too strict on myself. Somehow I've let myself think that by wanting to live at a higher standard makes me a "bad" person (I don't actually mean "bad" - I just can't come up with a word at this moment, maybe snobbish or something??). My expectations for my future may be high, specifically in terms of thinking about marriage and family, but the thing that gives be some sort of comfort and encouragement to continue on this path is that I'm not expecting anything I'm not already willing to do, and I'm doing those things now. If you play basketball, or know anything about basketball (I talk like I do, ha ha), it is called the basketball standard. It isn't lowered because someone may not like the height. No, the players see where it stands and they rise to the challenge. That is our challenge, our opportunity.
I have to echo what I heard today. The Lord is hastening His work. He needs us to step up our game...He needs ME to step up MY game.
In case you're wondering, it's not an easy path. If it were easy, everybody would be doing. But I do know that, as cliche as it sounds, it is completely worth it. Don't believe me? Give it a try.