You’re trying way too hard to get to Heaven

My life—as of late—has done a complete 180.

As I write this there’s a million other to-do’s on my mind, one of which includes the pile of laundry sneering at me from across the room. Oh and I can’t forget the bunny cages. *Sigh* It’s becoming a lot to handle.

A different job. Different schedule. Different faces that I see every day. Different church calling. You name it, and it’s most likely different now. I’m not trying to complain, since we all carry a load, but it’s a good way to preface something that’s been on my mind.

So here I sit–dirty laundry and all.

All my life I’ve worked in journalism, whether it be for the local paper or a news station, so my recent switch to sales and eventually marketing has been a culture shock to say the very least. Especially commission. Good ol’ commission that can make the greatest of people turn into vicious blood-thirsty wolverines. *Not saying that my co-workers are like that, of course.*

When I first began the job after all my training, I couldn’t help but feel anxiety about my commission. How much I get each day depends strictly upon how well I do with a customer and how much they fork over. I dictate grocery money, whether or not my husband can afford his batch of school books, or if my rent gets paid on time. Simply showing up for work doesn’t cut it here. I’ve found myself dwelling on it quite a bit since my first day—and at times I’ve worked myself into a panic. What if I don’t do enough? What if the customer just walks out on me? What if I mess up on a presentation of one of the products and the sale goes south from there? Worries, worries, worries. It never ends.

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But then, it happened. As usual, the Lord decided to step in.

The help came in the form of my new manager. As if my manager Mike sensed my tension, he sat down with me just a day or so ago and simply stated that if you come in and just think about commission or how high your stats are, you’ll never find success. Commission takes care of itself when you decide to take care of the people. “Make a friend, make a sale,” he said to me with an easy shrug.

Simple as that.

I stewed on what Mike said all day, turning it over and over in my head until I got home that night.

My husband came to me with a scripture he had in his hand while I made dinner. “The love of many will wax cold”, he read in one verse. “Men’s hearts shall fail them” he read in another. What do you think those verses mean? he asked me.

And that’s when it struck me. Call it a lightning bolt, if you will, or an “Aha” moment. But it was one of those times where everything gelled together, and I was reminded of something I had forgotten.

In every area of my life I’ve been worrying and stressing and focusing inward–and I know I’m not alone in that.

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We go through our weeks stressed to the max while trying to earn the most money, have the most crafty and color-coordinated and clean house on the block, trying to get all the ironing and laundry AND dishes done on the same day. Trying to be the one to have the perfect church lessons written out and prepared each sunday. Trying to check off all the to-do’s and then some. Trying to do our visiting teaching each month and attend every activity so we can cross it out on the list.

We’re trying too hard to get to Heaven.

And in turn, our hearts are failing us. Even more so, we’re failing each other.

It’s hard to express how profound this was to me. It was so simple to Mike to toss out the fact that selfless sales are the successful sales. It wasn’t a huge revelation for Matt to read that our hearts are failing us. But for me, the reminders changed everything.

The Savior is a perfect example of it. Not once during Jesus’ ministry on earth did He do anything simply to “check it off” the list. He didn’t heal the blind because it was scheduled for that day. He didn’t tell Peter to give up fishing and follow Him because He assumed it would further his success as a prophet. He didn’t forgive the prostitute because He wanted others to praise Him for His kindness or mercy. He didn’t scream through forty-something lashings to prove his strength to the world.

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He did everything because of love. Simple as that.

His concerns were never with where he was going because He knew that would take care of itself. His concern was with us.

 “But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, … whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42–45.)

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It’s a reminder I think we all need, whether we’re juggling two jobs or juggling two babies on the hip; whether we’re the head of cub scouts or the head of a company; whether we sit in the same pew every sunday and know all the answers to all the doctrinal questions or struggle to wake up on time. We need to remember that the Lord never called us to be perfect. But He did call us to love.

With recognition of the things that need to change in our lives and the perspectives that need to be adjusted, we can start out on the road to recovery from selfishness.

I hope to be more like that–in every area of my life, really. I strive to be more like Mike, who shrugs at the worry of commission and worries more about the guest who is struggling with a payment plan. I strive to be more like my Dad, who always taught me to “listen more” to others and talk less. I strive to be more like the Savior, who never thought a second about his own entry into Heaven, simply because he wanted to lead us to the gates first. I strive to be more like the sparrow, who depends on the rain and the seeds and the air under its small wings so fully that it doesn’t even give it a second thought that it might not be there tomorrow.

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Only then–when we stop worrying about conquering the world–will we find peace. Only then–when our hearts turn outward–will we revive our failing, worried, stressed, self-centered, aching hearts.

It’s time to stop trying so hard that we grow cold to what matters.

 

I don’t know about you, but I want to live the kind of life so that when I do finally show up to those pearly gates– I won’t be standing there alone.

 

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  9 comments for “You’re trying way too hard to get to Heaven

  1. julsc18
    April 29, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Sent from my 4G Ready Samsung Galaxy S4 on Three

  2. Mary Achee
    April 29, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Please watch Facing the Giants, if you haven’t already. It goes along with your post. It is one of the movies put out by Shiloh Church. Hugs, Mary

  3. April 29, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I think a companion thought to this is the beauty of patience. If we are willing to let things build over time, rather than striving to have it done ‘now’, many more things will lay in place and be of higher quality. It’s also key to find the positive in everything.

  4. Roxanne Shull
    April 29, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    The load noises of the world are blocking out the quiet whispering of the still small voice whipping us up in a frenzy (the loud noises). We are so blessed if we can learn to close our ears and open our souls.

  5. Thelma Venezuela-Esperanza
    April 29, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    You are really an angel for me. When I read this I feel, God inspired your soul to write for me to uplift my spirit. Thank you Kayla..you never fail to inspire me. I know it is not only me but others who face the same situation. These days, I am also stressed with my work. The scores are not reflecting the way I want it to be. Whenever I go home, I don’t feel happy at all. I feel dissatisfied and tired.But I need to make money so I have to keep this job. I realize the problem is not my work but how I deal with it. Your husband is true “our hearts are failing us”. I fail to remember that I have this job not to make money but to show care and love to our customers. This might sound corny but I know its true. Lately, I’ve wondering what will I do to make things easy for me. Words of enlightenment is popping in my mind that “enjoy each call, love each customer”. Your words are reinforcing that communication to me. Thank you. After reading your words I am determined to be better. I hope I can make it. I know that love can really make us find peace and happiness in this life. Thank you once again.

  6. Julija
    April 30, 2014 at 1:22 am

    So inspiring! I am so thankful that I’ve found your blog. There is always an answer for one of my questions in your texts. You are wonderful :)

  7. Ronda Braithwaite
    May 2, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Beautiful. Something I think about all the time and we all need to be reminded of.

  8. Wendy L.
    May 8, 2014 at 6:44 am

    This is a beautiful and inspiring post, and I just wanted to say Thank You!

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