Sunday, April 13, 2014

I'm going to try taking a bit more

I'm honestly a bit tired of giving. Now, don't get me wrong. Giving is awesome - and everyone praises it. When Christmas comes it is all about "giving", and well, how many times are we preached to and counseled to give more and give better?! We are asked to give of ourselves, our time, our money, our talents, and more.

Well, I'm tired of that. Call me crazy, but I've decided to try taking a bit more.

Sitting in church today, as I sat waiting for the sacrament, I thought about what I was about to do. I was about to "take the sacrament" - a shortening of the word, "partake." It's an active word that denotes the idea of conscious, deliberate choice. The offering that Christ makes for me daily is one that I must take. In the New Testament we are urged by Christ to "Take my yoke upon you..." (Matt. 11:29). We are also told three times in the New Testament to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Christ (eg. Matt. 16:24). Even Christ's pinnacle moment was that of "taking" upon himself the sins and sorrows and pains of all the world. Then and only then could he truly give us the power and joy of the atonement.

I've considered this idea for several year now, but as I sat thinking about this concept in today's meeting, I realized that perhaps Faith was a process of taking. Faith isn't just an act of giving something a chance. It's not about giving in, or giving time to something. No, that is too weak for me. That is not the kind of faith I should build. Instead, I should be taking. I should take the time, take a step, take a chance, and take His word for truth. It is this idea of taking - like seizing something because I want it so badly, I need it so badly.

Indeed, even the sacrament prayers do not mention giving. They DO, however, use the word "partake" in reference to what we do with the sacrament and state that in so doing, we witness unto God that we are willing to take upon us the name of Christ.

In the Book of Mormon, the covenant behind baptism is further explained, saying that in baptism we are expressing our willingness to bear one another's burdens. Sounds like a form of taking to me.

Giving makes it sound just so noble and self-praising sometimes. Maybe giving is what others do and taking is what I do. Even listening is a form of taking. Gosh, I am not great at taking in that form. Humility is even a form of taking.

Yeah, I get the whole giving thing. I'll probably continue to do that too, and feel great about it. But I think I'll start trying to take more. I think it just comes down to how I want to feel about how I have faith and how I approach everything - as if everything is a blessing and that I am always receiving - that the gift is so great that I cannot stop taking it. For sure, I'll never give more than what was given, so I might as well embrace the taking of Christ's cross, of His name, of His task, of His Spirit, of His forgiveness, of His love. Yes, please, give me more of all of that. I am ready to take.

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