Last Sunday I joined many of you in the auditorium to watch the movie, “Meet the Mormons”. I giggled about the misconceptions some people have, I cried with the missionary mom and I’m considering a trip to Atlanta for Bishop Sullivan’s barbeque. But mostly, I came away with a sense of awe concerning the incredible impact those featured have had on the world.
As Ryan and I discussed our reactions, I felt a little disheartened. Just what is my purpose in life? Is there a certain task I was sent here to do? What if I’m not following through with it because of fear, complacency or selfishness? What was I born to do? Who am I supposed to become? As little seeds of doubt and worry crept into my mind, I heard a quiet voice: “Do your job”.
* * *
When Cade was a freshman, he and three of his fellow freshman played on the Varsity baseball team. While I was extremely proud of him, it was intense because of the high expectations for a fourteen-year-old kid. And on top of that, his dad was one of the coaches. The initial part of the season was tense as the boys tried to prove themselves, and fit in with the upperclassmen. (Or at least not drive them insane). Luckily, it all worked itself out in the end. Epic games of “Wiffle” were played in Coach Davis’ backyard, morning practices were followed by breakfast at Wilburs and life-long friendships were formed. To top it off, they even won the State Championship. But that is all a side note to my point.
During the season, when Cade would get up to bat, Ryan would clap his hands together from the first base coach’s box and say "Do your job." Not, "You can do it", or "I believe in you", but just a simple "Do your job." I spent a good part of that time thinking Ryan was a jerk. What in the world?! Here was my baby boy, who needed all the encouragement we could offer, and Ryan was just telling him to “do his job”. Finally I confronted Ryan about it. (Confronted may be a strong word, let's just say "asked"). What he told me, struck me as so profound, that it keeps coming back to me as a motto for my life.
He said, "You know Marcie, I get so nervous for him sometimes that I just have to turn away. My stomach churns and I want nothing more for him than to get a great hit. But nothing I say or do can get that hit for him. He knows what to do. We've taught him, and he's practiced it. All he has to do is get up there and do his job.
"Wow. That really changed my perspective on Ryan, Cade and their relationship. Nobody was asking Cade to perform a miracle, but then again, no one expected him to fail. Doing "his best" wasn't quite enough, but there was a total expectation that he could handle the task. And if he failed on that try (which happens enough in baseball) Ryan was there to tell him to hang in there, give him some advice get him ready for the next time.
* * *
That phrase often comes to my mind when I feel overwhelmed and stressed. "Just do your job". I don't have to be perfect, I don't have to even do it all. I just have to accomplish the task that is right in front of me. And sometimes, I won't be successful. But there is always someone there to tell me to hang in there and encourage me to keep trying.
I still don’t know if there is some earth-shaking job I’m supposed to be working towards. That’s OK. But I do know that I’m supposed to love my family, serve others and grow closer to my Savior as I help others do the same. I can just imagine Heavenly Father watching us, hoping we'll "do our job", but knowing that he can't do it for us. Yet, he's always there, ready with encouragement, a little advice, and the expectation that we'll get back in the game.