When we act as an instrument in the hand of god to serve others, the access to inspiration is heightened. Here is a time, shared from my journal, when I had such a privilege.
Remembering the hardest day with Grandpa Dave…
Covered in shame and filthy with confusion, he had tried to help himself, yet only proved his helplessness. His face showed fear, embarrassment and bewilderment simultaneously. I tried to mask my own bewilderment at I looked at the depth of the situation. The signs of his failed attempt at achieving normality with a simple task were not only covering him, his clothes and his immediate surroundings, but they had been trailed and smeared throughout his bedroom. Coaxing him into the bathroom to begin the journey back to his happy fantasy land of imagined independence was delayed by a temporary cognition of reality. He cried and begged me to leave him alone as I guided him to the purity of water that could wash away the signs of this failure. “You shouldn’t have to do this” he interspersed with, “I shouldn’t be here”. For the first time, I longed for his mind to escape into his bizarre dream land where he spent so many of his days to escape this painful reality. Attempts at distraction failed, we would both just need to endure this moment to successfully prove that our familial bond of love, separated by two generations would pull us through this event. His head hung drooping in tortured shame as I worked to assist him with my head held high in an awake state of pleading prayer, “Dear God bless this dear man that I love to forget this moment quickly and bless me to remember it forever.” Engulfed in pain as a witness to his suffering, my mind fought to focus on his dignity and greatness as the father of my father, the man who had introduced our family to the Kingdom of God. Cleansed by the soap and water, he was dressed and free to return to his innocent world of make believe. Quietly entering into his safe haven of the living room sofa, he rested and fell peacefully asleep, never again to remember the moments that I would never forget. As he slumbered, I labored. I prayed and prayed while I sprayed and cleaned, my soul becoming purified and cleansed as I worked to remove the signs of aging and the loss of independence. The difficulty of the task brought me to a sense of my dependance on Him whom I was serving by serving dear Grandpa Dave. Continuing in prayer, I wondered how I could continue this overwhelming labor I had felt guided to volunteer for, not just these hours of cleaning… but the years of care-taking. Then He taught me the key to enduring not just this episode, but of embracing the entire experience “Love is the key” was spoken to my mind as I looked up above Grandpa’s blinds and saw the over sized brass key that adorned his one remaining window to the world. “Love is the key”, I repeated back aloud to the voice that had delivered the message. As I finished the labor of love, Grandpa awoke unaware of any of the days events… cheerful, full of life and eager to pursue his dreams, “How about a banana and then I’ll call the Governor about starting that restaurant.” “Sounds good Grandpa… let’s go get that banana.”
That moment of divine teaching, “Love is the Key”, has resonated in my mind several times since that day, whenever things seem just a bit too tough or the situation seems just a bit more than I can handle, or the person a little too unpleasant…. I remember: “Love is the Key” and I see the brass key, above Grandpa Dave’s window, in my mind.
Any type of selflessness and outward directed focus helps us to be more like Christ. This type of outward focused effort draws us closer to the spirit which then, in turn, allows us greater access to divine revelation.
When we are acting as instruments in behalf of others, we are more easily inspired than when we think only of ourselves. In the process of helping others, the Lord can piggyback directions for our own benefit.
The more closely you follow divine guidance, the greater will be your happiness here and for eternity—moreover, the more abundant your progress and capacity to serve. I do not understand fully how it is done, but that guidance in your life does not take away your agency. You can make the decisions you choose to make. But remember, the disposition to do right brings peace of mind and happiness.
Elder Richard G. Scott, “How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life,” Ensign, May 2012
My take away principle: We are more easily inspired when we are acting as instruments in behalf of others!
My question: How can I act as an instrument today in behalf of my children?