Sunday, October 05, 2008

Look Before You Lend


One day in the nineties, my dad and I were standing in the kitchen area of the South Shore Ward building in Patchogue-Medford, NY. Someone was telling my dad who in the ward had volunteered to bring treats to a then-upcoming youth activity. He/she was saying that one family in our ward--a family with a lot of teenage boys--said they probably wouldn't bring anything. But whoever the speaker was said that probably, this family would end up bringing something anyway. They usually did.

My dad looked sort of disapproving. I said, "Dad, isn't it better that they say they won't bring something and then do, than say that they will bring something and then don't?" I said it kind of flippantly, sure that my dad would agree and appreciate my quick, logical turn-of-phrase. My dad, my kind and generous-hearted and gentle father, looked me in the eyes and said: "It would be better if they said they were going to bring something and then did."


Today I promised three things that I later learned I didn't have:
  • a crockpot (to make barbecue beef for a small post-conference dinner this evening; my friend Peter came over at 8 this morning to get it going; alas, we had no crockpot; alas, we had to call a friend whose engagement has already elicited a crockpot; yes, we did slow cook chuck eye beef in it today, using it even before the happy couple did)
  • baking powder (to make corn bread for our dinner; fortunately, Peter had some; unfortunately, he had to drive home to get it, missing the first few minutes of the afternoon session of conference)
  • What's Up, Doc? (Peter and Jeanette and I wanted to watch it this evening after dinner; I said I owned it; I thought I did; I can visualize it even, even on my shelves; I could not find it in my hastily unpacked moving boxes, at least the ones that looked like they were producing movies; Peter went home, thrice disappointed, and Erika, Jeanette, and I ended up watching some of Baby Mama again; which, to be honest, is a surprisingly funny and subtle movie).
Saying I'm going to come through for people makes me feel great. Not coming through for people makes me feel bad. This is, of course, an eternal truth.

"We are already a covenant-making people. We need to be a covenant-keeping people."
- Camille Fronk Olson


May I work harder and with more humility to come through on those eternal covenants I have already made. May I be a better friend, promising and delivering the things that will help others' lives to go meaningfully and well. And may I please find What's Up, Doc? in my stuff somewhere. It's such a funny movie.

Amen.

6 comments:

Jacki said...

I had forgotten Camille Fronk had become Camille Fronk Olson. How great that she is your aunt.

Shawn said...

Don't ask me how I came across your blog, but there it was - the link emailed to me. So I read your profile and like. Nice photo too. Who am I? Name's Shawn. I'm typing to you from Midway, UT (near Park City) post-General Conference. But I've lived in Philadelphia since 2001 and just moved to Manhattan 3 weeks ago. Anyway, if interested in seeing who I am, log on to LDSPlanet and search for my screenname: SPERCA. If anything you see or read in my profile interests you, let me know... the feeling's mutual. Sperca08@gmail.com.

***Shawn

Sarah Louise said...

I know, Jacki, right? It's pretty awesome.

I was in her Book of Mormon class when God's Army came out. I asked her how she felt that the lead female character was named after her (she was). She said, "She got the man. Maybe I will too." And then, maybe two years later, she married my uncle. It pretty much rocked.

heather said...

Such a great movie. I have forced its viewing on many a roommate (including my current one/husband) who were reluctant and skeptical of its leading lady. And of course, all were converted. Every time I watch it, I envision my father-- quiet, subtle, shy man that he is-- laughing outrageously in his old rocking chair during the shootout in Mr. Larrabee's home.

Just us! said...

Dinner was great! I loved the cornbread. Thanks for having us over.

Melissa said...

C. Fronk was my favorite religion teacher. Lucky you.