Why, oh why, would you only pick up that much manna?

MannaSo, you can be obedient in a couple different ways, right? I mean, you can be an obedient person for a number of different reasons as far as I can tell, garnering any different level of blessings…right?

You know enough about manna in the story of the Israelites that I don’t need to cover all of the details. But recognize this: the Israelites had to go out every day (except the Sabbath) and gather enough manna to sustain themselves for one day. For reasons known to the Lord, they couldn’t pick up a week’s worth; the extra would go bad. So, I’d imagine that every Israelite went out everyday, like clockwork, and gathered enough manna for the day.

But maybe there was one in the group who was a little bored of this daily task. I doubt many Israelites skipped the manna gathering, as they would spend the day hungry. But I’m guessing there were one or two in the group who thought: Gosh, again!? Every single day with the manna…I mean, I’ll do it, but I just don’t think my heart is in this…

And that is fine, except that there would come a day when they’d walk out of the tent, grab a small pinch of the first manna they saw, and say (to anyone who would listen), “See? I’m obedient! I grabbed some manna, just like we’ve been asked!”

Well, of course, a pinch of manna does’t sustain a person for the whole day. But out of spite, or boredom, or pride or whatever, an “obedient” person did, technically, gather a small amount, even though there’s not much a pinch of manna can do for a person…

So, we read a verse or two of scripture at night. We rattle off a prayer during the morning. We “show up” for our calling without much planning or forethought. But, hey, I showed up, right? I mean, technically, I was obedient…

How long can one or two verses sustain us? How much nourishment can a half-hearted prayer provide? Who can really be deeply blessed by doing the minimum, purely out of duty? I’m not saying that a short session of reading or a quick prayer can’t bless us. Just showing up for a calling is, at least, showing up, and people are blessed, for sure.

A couple nights ago I turned in, prayed, opened my iPad for my scripture study, and felt unusually tired. So I decided just to read any random verse and “count it”. I did so. As I was about the shut the iPad the thought crossed my mind, “Is this effort going to qualify you for much?”

And with that, I opened the iPad back up, found where I was, and spent a few thoughtful minutes studying and pondering 3 Nephi 15…

We always run the risk of being too hard on ourselves and allowing guilt to take over. Please don’t do that. But grab enough manna to make leaving the tent worth your effort…

Be Encouraging…

BJM

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