I love this quote by President Ezra Taft Benson. I have heard it many times, and suspect that many of you have too. Just today I was feeling weighed down and burdened when I came across these words once again:
"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace."
I started to think about what it means to "turn your life over to God," since clearly this is a life-long process. I suppose there are certain times when we do it more fully, generally out of dire necessity when we feel like our life just may fall apart. (Who was it who said that God uses pain to bring men to him? There is definitely some truth to that!)
At any rate, as I was contemplating, I realized that there was one more sentence at the end of President Benson's quote, taken from a verse in Matthew: "Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life."
So I started thinking that it is really not possible to turn our lives over to God without losing ourselves in His service. That seemed so much more clear cut as a missionary! Sometimes I need a healthy dose of perspective to remind myself that feeding, loving, chasing, cleaning, disciplining (and thus teaching) a child is most definitely service to God... but when frustrated and consumed with worry, joy flies out the window - and so does service to God. Right?
The point is, turning our lives over to God entails so much more than our actions; it implies an attitude of love, a willingness to change and to let go... allowing the Lord to shoulder our burdens while we honestly strive to be more like Him. I've noticed that when I try to do everything on my own (usually not a conscious decision), life starts to stink pretty quickly. I am grateful for the reminder today of how sweet life can be when we truly do "turn our lives over to God."