I only have this photo as a record I knew my mom's dad. He was a smart man, and I'm not just saying that because we share genes. He was the Dean of Continuing Education at Brigham Young University, among other notorious accomplishments and positions. My mom relates stories of him sitting in his study [I do have memories of his study with a dark leather couch and a wall of books]. She would creep in and ask questions as a teenager. He always had an answer. Sometimes it wasn't the answer she was hoping for, but he was the kind of man whose answer one would take to heart, because it was given in love and wisdom. He left a compilation of hand-written stories to his grandchildren, Tell Us Another One Grandpa: Lessons he learned in life. One story, in particular, has always hovered around in my mind: All things are spiritual. An excerpt:
Is everything spiritual to the Lord? If so, how can tasting, chewing and swallowing your wheaties at breakfast be spiritual? I was amazed as I thought about it.
1-Eating wheaties is made spiritual if we respect the wheaties by being on time to eat them, with hands washed and hair combed.
2-Before we sit, we can help others get seated, and before we eat, we can thank God for the food and then pass the food to others before we eat.
3-Show concern for others by not chomping, spilling or gulping our food.
4-We can do something positive, like bringing a flower to the table; by not complaining about the food/ by telling about the good things we are going to do that day.
5-If we have to leave the table early, we can ask to be excused. We can also help clear the table or wash the dishes.
6-We can have a good spiritual feeling ourselves, and make the one who is responsible for the food happy, with a "Thanks, Mom."
As I was doing the dishes this morning, I noticed that one of the flowers I picked and placed by the sink last night was drooping. I remembered that that particular flower I cut shorter than the rest and realized it just needed a bit more water in the vase. I added not more than a tablespoonful and turned around to clean up the table left by the masses in a state of smears and crumbs. Upon returning to the sink, the small flower had already perked up. It reminded me of the scripture found in John 4:10-11.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water.
I am proud and try to convince myself that the omission of certain things on occasion don't have an effect on me--skipping morning prayers or a day of reading scriptures. They don't really feel like that much: a tablespoon here and a tablespoon there. But, no matter the amount, there is drooping of our spiritual selves. Each drop is missed and needed, especially for those whose supply is consistently consigned to smaller beings. The Living Water is our immortal ticket. I'd like a firm grip on it.