It's been close to a year now since the horse arrived, and it's changed. He gnaws at the fence trying to unhitch the latch, escapes frequently, and is often kicking at the fence. I wonder how the horse could have forgotten its previous, miserable conditions, and the joy he had when he was first introduced to his new home where everything he could ever need was given to him.
Sometimes I feel we as members of the church can easily fall into this trap of the miniature horse. We're blessed with the gospel, which provides us with everything we'll ever need, yet we kick at the fence wanting more.
Elder Quentin Cook spoke on stewardship this past General Conference and said, "It is easy to confuse our priorities. Some individuals place undue priority on temporal and material possessions. Some are far less diligent in their efforts to immerse [themselves or] their children in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Having religious observance in the home is as important as providing food, clothing and shelter. We also need to [develop and] help our children develop their talents. We are responsible for the talents we have received. Children who are not taught that they are accountable for their time and talents are increasingly subject to the foolishness and unrighteousness that are so pervasive in the world."
There is a song my boys learned last year, called My Eternal Family. It goes,
I am a builder working each day to build my family.
And I will do the best that I can to serve them lovingly.
I am a builder growing so tall and learning every day
to speak with kindness in my home, to help at work and play.
My Heavenly Father sent me here and He knows I can be
strong and righteous as I build my eternal family.
This song made me think of my father, a few years ago, who was building a small shed out of wood. Having spread all the boards and toolos over the picnic table, as a workbench, attracted the attention of my then 3 year old son. He wanted to know what was going on and he wanted to help. My father reluctantly gave him scrap wood and nails and offered the picnic table bench as a little work bench. He said, "Porter, go ahead and hammer the nails in these boards." Surprised at how adept Porter was with the hammer, Dad cheered him on. "Wow, Porter, you really are doing a great job with the hammer!" When my father returned the following day to put on the door to the shed he realized that all the scrap pieces of wood had been nailed through to the benches. He later told me he was going to leave those boards nailed to the benches so when all who sat would ask why, and he would remember the day Porter taught him that children are always watching and following our example, and we need to always be doing the right thing at the right time.
May be strive to be that builder who, as it says in the Doctrine and Covenants 51:19, "is found a faithful, a just, and a wise steward," and "shall enter into the joy of the Lord," surely including a really large green pasture with bouncy balls.