Hello all! It has been a while so I thought that it would be good if I took this opportunity to share a few of my feelings about sacrifice with you. We have just finished a season remembering our progenitors and the sacrifices that they made during the Revolutionary War which ultimately lead to the formation of this great country. We also remembered the pioneers with their sacrifices that paved the way for the church that we cherish today. We are currently studying the early Christian Apostles and their sacrifices to spread The Gospel throughout their known world. Not too long ago we celebrated Easter when The Savior sacrificed His life for our salvation.
Sacrifice can mean many different things to different people. And we each sacrifice many different things for different causes. In church we may sacrifice time and devote talents to fulfill our callings. We may sacrifice time and money to go on a mission, or to support someone else that is on a mission. We also make sacrifices for our families.
As with the New Testament story of “The Widow’s Mite” we cannot judge a person’s offering by its size. What may be a monumental sacrifice for one person may be just a normal occurrence for another. Only God knows the heart of the giver, and how much it means to them.
Looking back on my life I can see many choices that I made, or sacrifices, to benefit others. That is what I see is the true measure of a sacrifice, the motivation. If an action is motivated by obligation, selfish thoughts, etc. it is not a true sacrifice. If it comes from a selfless place or love then it is a true offering.
The best example that I can think of from my life happened around the time of my son’s birth. At the time my family was living in Missouri. We moved there after I graduated from Snow College and was unsuccessful finding employment here in Sanpete. Becky’s parents live there and we had some hopes of better prospects over there, but nothing ever panned out. Eventually I took a job as a part time cashier at the “local” (half hour away) Walmart. It was good to have some sort of income, but with travel I did not see my family much. At the time I felt that I needed to sacrifice my time to provide money for my family – even though it was a horrible dead-end job and I hated every minute that I was there.
Within a few months of Cal’s arrival into this world it was apparent that he was going to have some major struggles just to stay alive. At about 3 months old he was admitted as a resident of a children’s hospital and as soon as possible he underwent open-heart surgery. When we found out the needs of our son I had some choices to make. I knew that with Cal’s medical issues we would need whatever money we could get, but I also knew that no matter what I needed to be with my family through this time of struggles. I decided to quit my job, but it was not because I hated it – I did it because I knew that my family needed my time more than we needed the money.
We spent over a month at that hospital, and I spent every night with my son in his room – with the exception of a few nights that my mother-in-law came up to give me some time with Becky. We pretty much devoted our whole lives at that time to watching over Cal and making sure that the decisions that his doctors were making were what was best for him. As we were there we saw several other children come and go, and most of them saw their families very little. Even though it was the hardest thing that we have done, we know that sacrificing out time and energy for him at that time was the best thing.
Even after he was well enough to leave the hospital, Becky and I spent most of our day caring for, especially feeding, him. It took a year from when he was born to when it was possible for me to enter into the workforce again. Over the last 6 years of having him in our lives I have had to make many decisions based on “what would be best for him?” or “what would be best for my family?” I have always found that as I put others first and sacrifice my selfish way of thinking, everything works out in the end.
I can bear you my testimony that God loves each one of us. I know for certain that everything that He does is motivated by that love. As we try to emulate His love in all our actions, no matter what it costs us personally, everything will work out in the end. I know that we will grow close to Him and this life will be a success.
Brother Calvin Zundel