I don't get into these funks very often, but when they come they tend to linger for a week or two before I get a new sponge or I sweep my driveway and suddenly that snaps me back to my normal self... somehow...
I know I'm not the only one who gets into these funks. Some are more serious than others, but for the most part, everyone enters a slump sometimes. And at least for me, one of the things that keeps the funk around longer is comparing myself to others.
Just last weekend during the Sunday Morning session of General Conference, Elder J. Devn Cornish of the Seventy delivered a talk titled Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It? It is truly an inspired talk about how we as people tend to spiral further into these feelings of inadequacy when we continue to compare ourselves to others.
As long as there are corgi videos ON Instagram I will BE on Instagram. But in between those videos I see a lot of things I don't have. I love seeing my friends moving to exciting places to start exciting careers, and starting families, and taking flawless pictures, but then I start I worry about not having those things myself. Am I falling behind? Why am I not doing these things right now? Why am I not in first place?!
This kind of thinking is poisonous and leads nowhere, I know. But I-- like many of you-- can't help it! We are comparative creatures! We like to keep score. But that is one of the traits of the natural man. Our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ don't keep score. Like Elder Cornish's talk emphasized, we should be far less concerned with what our peers think of us and far more concerned with what our Heavenly Father thinks of us.
One of the most tender temple experiences I have ever had has to do with this principle. In the temple we learn that before the earth was created, the universe was just a bunch of unorganized matter. All the material was there, but none of it was put together. It was one big, beautiful mess. God commanded that this matter be organized and BOOM!-- you have an even bigger, more beautiful mess; but this time, with a purpose.
What I love about this principle that is taught is that the Lord God recognized that amidst the giant mess of nothings and somethings, He saw the setting for a mighty work. He could organize these things into the most breathtaking sites with the most amazing functions to support the most beautiful plants and creatures. And at the very end, He created us.
We have to turn ourselves over to the Lord to be organized. We come into this world a big mess of matter with very little organization. We slowly pull ourselves together by learning how to walk and to talk and to take selfies, but until we turn ourselves over to Him, we cannot-- and I mean cannot-- be complete. Through trials and challenges and a lot of heartache, we start to feel more and more disorganized, but when we turn ourselves to the Lord-- the creator of countless worlds-- we can be transformed into something beautiful.
My eyes are still bloodshot. My posture is still slipping. And my feet are STILL. COLD. But in addition to these discomforts, I still feel inadequate and underachieving. And I know in my heart that a new sponge isn't going to fix that for very long. I need to take my own advice and turn myself over to the Lord to be "organized."
At the very end of General Conference on Sunday afternoon, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a talk titled Lest Thou Forget. He is one of the newest members of the Quorum and this conference marks his one year mark. He talks specifically about remembering our moments of spiritual triumph in times of spiritual doubt, but what struck me the most was his vulnerability when delivering this talk. He talks about how inadequate, small, and ill-qualified he often feels for this major calling. Imagine: a man called specifically from God, a man who has served the church in various callings for decades, relating his insecurities. But just like Prophets of old, our Father in Heaven has a funny way of taking those servants he needs most and making them into spiritual giants like Elder Rasband-- never taking into consideration that individual's self-doubt. He is willing to put so much effort into perfecting us-- sometimes causing us periods of pain-- because He knows we are worth it. Because we are His children. Because of all His marvelous creations, we are still considered His finest. And we are worth organizing.