Many years ago, I prayed for charity. I knew what I was doing when I did it, but I did it anyways. Now, years later, I still don't feel like I'm very good at it.
I don't do any great service. I don't even do my visiting teaching as I would like to.
The talk by Rex D. Pinegar is the shortest in the set for this week's session in the General Conference Odyssey. But it is the one that resonated best for me, because I'm coming to feel that it is the single most important aspect of what it means to be a disciple.
My post is going to be similarly short. But I wanted to share what I have been doing to try to cultivate charity.
First, I am trying to practice being sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit. As I go throughout my day, busy, stressed, and focused on tasks I must accomplish, it can be hard to discern spiritual promptings from the ever-present guilt of not doing enough.
But as I try to act on the thoughts that occur to me, especially if it means building bridges or making someone feel cared for, I feel like I get better at knowing the difference.
Second, I try to see people. It's so easy to go through the day seeing people only as they relate to me. If they are performing their function, I am likely to hardly notice them. But I'm trying to slow down a little, look people in the eyes, notice if something is a little off or different than usual. That gives the Spirit necessary opportunities to inspire me to reach out.
Finally, I try to let the Spirit also prompt me to take care of myself when I'm feeling burned out. Weeds will always remain. Dishes will always need doing. But children won't always need me. People won't always be feeling vulnerable and in need of love.
I may do no great service. But I am finding that it's all about lifting where you stand, and knowing when to lift.