I’m not an overly religious person.
Don’t get me wrong. I try to go to church on a regular basis. I go through cycles where I’m dedicated and go every week and I go through spurts where I just don’t go. Sometimes I just lose interest in the religious side of church. The do’s. The dont’s. The “cross me off the list” aspects of church.
Read your scriptures – check.
Go to church – check.
Pay your tithing – check.
Go to the Temple – check.
Say your prayers – check.
Live the word of wisdom – check.
Have family home evening – check.
Do your genealogy – check.
Watch General Conference – check.
Put together the best food storage in the neighborhood – check.
Home teaching. Visiting teaching – check. (Although it’s called ministering now, I think). I wouldn’t know. I don’t do whatever it’s called.
I do most of these things, by the way. Check. Uncheck. Do better. Be better. Blah. Blah. Blah.
I think some of these things are important, at least to me. I go to church to take the Sacrament. The rest of church? I just don’t…know. It is what it is. I go to the Temple. I pay my tithing. I pray, a lot. A LOT!! I do other things and I don’t do other things. What I’ve learned about myself over the last several years is that I do some of these things for the right reason. I do these things cause they help me, my spirituality, and my relationship with God and with others.
I grew up with a dad who was a “Franklin Planner” fanatic. I had a Franklin Planner and if you’re about my age (47) you had one too. You prioritized daily activities and checked off the things you got done and the completed tasks. Check. If you didn’t get something done you’d prioritize it on the top of the tomorrow list. It was all about getting things done, chores, tasks, lists. It was about checking things off. The problem with this philosophy is that everything in my life became a chore, a task, a checklist.
Most of my life I’ve lived by the “check me off the list” philosophy. I still do to a certain extent. Sometimes I even write something on my list that I’ve already accomplished just so I can cross it off my list. I don’t, however, practice this way of living in my religious life anymore. Thank goodness.
Oh Lord, MY Redeemer.
I am an overly spiritual person. If you can be overly spiritual? I’m not sure. Like I said, I do some of the checklist items. I do the things in my present life that help my spirit. My spirituality. I focus on those things that help my relationship with myself, my God, my family, and my relationship with others. I do these things that bring me closer to the Savior. The phrases are “I want to be more like Christ”. “I’m trying to be like Jesus”. The true reason we/you should strive to be “more like the Savior” is because the closer you come to being like Christ? The closer you are to being yourself. Your true and authentic self. Loving. Caring. Kind. Nice. Understanding. Forgiving. Sincere. Humble. Patient. Tolerant. Honest. Peaceful.
The hard part is this. We can’t cross those off the lists because we don’t put them on our daily lists of “to do’s”. You can’t checkoff attributes. You can’t checkoff your way of living. You can’t checkoff your true nature. They are not chores, tasks, or things to “get done”. We like to get things done in our society but the truth is that being nice, loving, caring, kind, patient, honest, understanding, etc…can NEVER be checked off a list. They simply become a part of who we are. Our character. Our attributes. Our nature. Our part of “trying to be like Jesus”.
Oh Lord, MY Redeemer.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I am not ashamed of it. He is my truth. He is my light. He is my Savior and my Redeemer. He is my idol, my example, my role model, and my friend.
And the other truth is this.
He will never ever be crossed off of my list!