Admit it. When you run into some characters in scripture, who don’t act the way you know they should, you think that you would have done so much better had you been there.
Take the story of Naaman, the captain of the host of the king of Syria who was also a leper. When a maid who waited on his wife said there was a prophet in Israel who could cure him, he gathered up considerable wealth to pay for a healing miracle, and headed for Israel, eventually ending up before the door of the prophet, Elisha.
There he cut a powerful presence, with all his authority, in his snappy chariot, but Elisha didn’t come out to see Naaman himself. Instead, he sent a messenger with a sort of homely set of instructions. If Naaman would go wash himself seven times in the River Jordan, his flesh would become clean.
You can almost hear Naaman’s whole soul reeling at the little chore. This man of authority, who had been used to people jumping at his word, who had probably never been met only by somebody’s lackey, had had a different vision of how things would come down.
Naaman said, “I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper” (2 Kings 2:11).
After all, the rivers of Damascus were mightier than this puny, uninspiring Jordan. Not only did he not wash, he “went away in a rage” (2 Kings 5:12).
It took a lowly servant to tell him the truth. “If the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” (2 Kings 5:13).
You read this story and you may find yourself responding in a teenager’s words. “Well, duh, Naaman.” If you get a message from the Lord to do anything, however small for such enormous blessings, of course you’d do it. So what if the nature of the task is not your favorite, or somehow beneath you, or doesn’t quite fit your vision of things, can’t you bend a little to simply do what you are asked?
Still right in the midst of feeling superior to Naaman, I thought of a sign I saw in a gift shop in Idaho that said, “If you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to serve as a terrible warning.”
Maybe we have more of Naaman in us than we’d like to admit. It seems that if the Lord asked us to do some big thing, we could do it. Ask me to walk to Missouri, I’ll start packing my bags and head out of my driveway. Ask me to be brave in times of crisis, and I might be able to pull it off.
What is really hard is doing all the every day, undramatic, steady things that are required to be a true disciple of Christ. As one leader said, “With the Lord’s help, we could find many people who would be qualified to serve as bishop of the ward. It’s good home teachers that are hard to find.”
When I asked my Sunday School class what Naaman’s problem was, they all said immediately that it was his pride. Certainly the big calling in the Church, the measurable achievement at work, the child we raise who everyone can point to as a prize-winner are impressive. Other people know that we must have it all together by such outward standards.
More to the point, however, is that if our lives yield certain opportunities and possibilities, we are more impressed with ourselves. How much more meaningful and exciting it is when we arise each morning to work on a big project, a compelling creation, something that we can see and mark as a product of excellence than to get up to a set of everyday, silent and unsung chores.
Among those everyday chores, are many things that the Lord asks of us to live as covenant people. So many, many things. Read your scriptures. Say your prayers. Write in your journal. Go to the temple. Master the new Familysearch. Write a thank you note. Call your neighbor. Visit or home teach people who don’t care if you come.
Källa: Meridian magazine