The original question was : Who would you like to trade places with for a day?
You know, I couldn't think of anyone.
My life has its problems, but it's a comfort to know that I wouldn't trade it for anything else. On the other hand, it was making this blog post very boring, so I chose an alternate question.
My friend Susan is one person I couldn't imagine my life without. We're in the same ward, and she lives very close to the church building, while I live about half an hour away.
We're in the process of putting our house on the market so that we can move closer to church. It's a slow process, made slower by our crazy busy lifestyle. But if I were to be totally honest, the real reason our house in not already for sale is how overwhelmed I am at the whole thing.
Eleven years. That's how long I've lived in this house. It's pretty clean--never clean enough, in my opinion, and it's well lived in. We've got the magical kinds of bookshelves where books don't stay still. Wii remotes snake across our floor of their own volition, and marbles and legos multiply and scatter as soon as we turn our backs. It's a great house, but the thought of keeping it clean long enough to sell it makes me want to cry, and cry...and finally pray.
"Heavenly Father, I've never thought of myself as an incompetent person, but this simple thing that everyone has to do at some point in their lives has got me completely frozen. I don't know what to do! There are so many projects that I can't even pick one. I really, truly, from the bottom of my soul, need help."
My prayer started small and built into a silent kind of keening, that grew until it was finally answered by a phone call from Susan. "Melanie, if you want me, I've decided to come over to your house once a week until your house is ready to sell." And she has--for a couple of months now, she spends an entire day at my house. Together we get so much more done than I could ever have done on my own, even with twice the time.
At first I was thoroughly uncomfortable with that level of service. I knew it was something I could probably never repay, and I'm not sure anyone outside of my family has ever given that much to me before. We have a good time, chatting and laughing even while she cleaned out my trash compactor. My eyes still well up with tears when I think about it though, because it touches me on a deeply spiritual level.
For whatever reason, I couldn't do this thing. It didn't seem like it should be as impossible as it was, but I couldn't do it. To me, Susan was a little bit like Jesus Christ, who has given me a gift I quite simply can never repay. I can't do it alone, and so he's with me every step of the way, being the bridge to the places I can't get to on my own.
I feel the same sense of obligation, though on a much smaller scale, to Susan as I do to my Savior--an obligation to go out and make the world a better place, to try and lighten someone's load the way mine has been lightened.