We Won’t Know Until We Try!
By Joann Condit of Phoenix, AZ, USA
As a prophetic people you are called, under the direction of the spiritual authorities and with the common consent of the people, to discern the divine will for your own time and in the places where you serve. You live in a world with new challenges, and that world will require new forms of ministry. —Doctrine and Covenants 162:2c
The members of Phoenix Central Congregation gathered in a large circle, uniting in prayer and sharing to discern the best ways we could serve the community and our own church family. Some accepted the thoughts and ideas as doable, and some were doubtful of our ability to make a difference. We weren’t making much progress. Then one of our teen members made this observation, and she did so with passionate conviction:
“We need to try. We may not be successful at all, but we need to try. Maybe we will make an impact for a while, but not forever…but we need to try. Maybe we will find a way we can make significant changes in the lives of others, but we won’t know until we try!”
Her words took me back several years to time spent in Wales, and snagged on a vivid mental image of the medieval fortification called Caerphilly Castle. The sun glinted on the surrounding artificial lakes, often considered the most elaborate water defenses in all Britain.
In 1268, Gilbert de Clare constructed the castle with concentric rings of walls. It is enormous, and despite the passage of over seven centuries, it stands firm. I asked our guide that day, “How did builders conceive castles? Was there some master architect who traveled around with detailed plans?”
His answer was simple: “No.” He went on to say that labor was plentiful and cheap. Plans evolved as someone saw an existing castle feature that appealed to his defensive needs, and he went home and tried to build it. If it fell down, and it often did, he changed the plans and tried again…and sometimes again. Eventually it all came together in a fit that lasted.
That’s what our young member tried to assure us that evening. We can only try our best. We have many people to help. Maybe we fail, but we learn from each failure—and we will make a difference. Success is not wasted and will make a difference for generations to come.
Oh…yes, we do have a Master Architect.
Prayer for Peace
Master Designer, help us look beyond what we think is possible. Help us keep our eyes on the need, the injustice, the hurt—and we will figure out what to do. We will find a way to peace.
Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve
As disciples of Jesus Christ, our call is to respond to people and their needs. Pray about using your skills to help the mission of the community. As you feel affirmed, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move on your outward journey.
Today, God, I will remember that if I fail, I may not make a difference in another’s life—but if I try, it will make a difference in my own.