I've been thinking a lot about what am I supposed to be doing in my life right now. I have come to a crossroads and it seems really important that I figure out as soon as I possibly can what will make me happy so I don't end up wasting any time. I know everyone says I don't need to figure it out right now, but trust me—I really, really do.
I remember reading a very powerful quote from Elder Holland that I found in my mission binder, and recently I was searching for it but coming up with nothing. Luckily, today I was reading through my study journal and found part of the quote that made it pretty easy to find the rest. Though it's always hard to hear, this is a powerful message for me.
Christ says, “Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time, or so much of your money, or so much of your work, I want YOU. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here or a branch there, I want the tree down! I don’t want to drill the tooth or crown it or stop it. I want it out! Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires; the ones you think are innocent, as well as the ones you think are wicked. You give me the whole outfit, and I will give you a new self; in fact, I will give you myself, and my will shall become your will.”
The terrible thing, of course, the almost impossible thing is to hand over your whole natural self, all your wishes and all your precautions to Christ. But that is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do instead is to remain what we call “ourselves,” to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life and yet at the same time to be reasonably good. We’re all trying to let our mind and our heart go their own way, centered on money, or sex, or pleasure, or ambition, and hoping in spite of this to behave honestly and humbly, and that is exactly what Christ warned us we could not do. He said a thistle could not produce figs. If I’m a field that contains nothing but grass seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short, but I shall still produce grass and never wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be plowed up and re-sown. It is the difference between a paint, which is simply on the surface, and a dye or stain that soaks right through. He never talked vaguely. He said, “Be perfect,” and He meant it. He meant that we must go in for the whole treatment. “See, I have chosen you, you haven’t chosen me. You come to this on my terms, and I want you for the full treatment.” Now, that’s hard. But the sort of compromise we’re hankering after is harder still; in fact, it’s impossible. It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird, but it’s a jolly sight harder for an egg to learn to fly. We are like eggs at present, and we cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. Someday, you will have to be hatched or go bad. It is hard for an egg to become a bird, but it IS impossible for an egg to learn to fly.
It is certainly not easy to align my will with my Heavenly Father's, but He has an even bigger vision for me than I have for myself.