Friday was a bit disappointing. I scheduled a basketball practice for my team and Raef and I were the only ones to show up. Frustrating. No one came. I frantically made dinner but did't have enough time to eat it so that I could hurry to the gym where no one shows up. Ugh.
After experiencing a gamut of emotions, I got contemplative after a while. And then a thought came to me. If you want to be successful, show up. There you go. That is it. I really think this is a powerful tool in life. Just be there. How do you get good grades in school? Show up. Do the work. Accomplish big things like getting Eagle Scout? Show up to the meetings. Sound amazing in a church choir? Show up to practices. The key to success in life. Be there. Be consistent. Be available. Follow through.
There is no magic and no exceptional skills or talent required. It is the "little bits" of every day life. I remember day after day, 10-15 minutes of making my little boys practice the violin. It could be absolutely torturous at times. I doubted all the time. And it was painful, both mentally and audibly most times. But day after day, we showed up and practiced. And practiced and practiced. My kids definitely are not any more talented than anyone else. But we showed up and did the work.
Alma taught, "...Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." Alma 37:6
It is amazing to me to think how the Lord works in small ways to bring about great miracles. He works on us a little everyday and then through a lifetime a miracle is made...us! Me! You! He takes me, a very flawed individual and helps me to smooth away all of the rough edges and allows me to shine and be something beautiful, created in His image. I couldn't do it on my own, but more importantly, I couldn't do it all in one day, or a week, or even a few years. Through a lifetime of experience and just showing up every day, doing the best I can to keep the commandments and serve, He is molding me His.
It really never is anything big. Just like the Holy Ghost is a still, small voice. It is powerful and piercing. It changes me, protects me, guides me, but only meekly and peacefully. But it is there for me every day of my life. As long as I "show up", the Holy Ghost is my constant companion.
I hope that I can teach my children this concept, through my words, but more importantly because I live it myself. My word is my bond. I will show up every day. I am not going to "phone it in". I can be the best, just for the mere reason that I am here. I am always here for them and for the people in my sphere. I can magnify what I have been given by God to bless those around me, even if it doesn't seem that significant because it does matter. It matters to God.
"Be the Best of Whatever You Are"
If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley - but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.
If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass -
But the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us here,
There's big work to do, and there's lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.
If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or you fail -
Be the best of whatever you are!
Show up! And then do your best.