Friday, March 5, 2010

The poorest spot of land and What could I have done more?

I just finished reading Jacob chapter 5 again. I've always read this chapter by applying the world history context; today, I realized some things I'd never thought about before. I'm not sure the thoughts have completely formed, but I will do my best.

For anyone unfamiliar with Jacob chapter 5 from the book of Mormon is an allegory about the Lord's dealings with Israel and the world explained as a vineyardman (don't know the correct term) who with his servant is doing everything he can to save the fruit (us) before the final harvest.

After working hard to place his trees in the right soil and letting mother nature run her course, he returns with his servant to inspect the trees. His servant is baffled by how the lord planted his fruit because he planted the tree in the worst spot of ground. The lord explains that he worked hard to make sure the tree would be good and it did bring forth good fruit. Then they look at a tree that was planted in good soil and only part of it yielded good fruit.

I thought about how this relates to my work life and realized that it doesn't matter how prestigeous the position or where the location is if you are willing to hard at bringing forth good fruit, you can still be successful. When I worked at mcdonalds people would ask where I worked. I would tell them and get the most pitied looks. However, despite my dread of the place after my mission, it gave me a lot of experience and provided me with a pretty good resume. But some people, even those who were managers walked away with nothing because they weren't willing to put in the effort. To them, it was a job that would get them through college or pay their next rent check.

Now, returning to the allegory-after a "long time" goes by the lord returns to his vineyard to find that some of his trees have gone bad yielding rotten fruit. He cries to his servant "what could I have done more?" remember although the story is about the lord of the vineyard it represents the lord of the world. He's then explains that he's done everything he could. But the servant petitions him to give it one more go. He does and ends up finding more he could do to help his poor trees.

Besides the somewhat obvious spiritual application (the lord is going to give us as many chances as he can), this part is signifant to me as a writer. I'll do all I can to get the first draft correct, then after it comes back I'll see several errors I didn't notice whether someone else caught it or not. Even after it has been reviewed by over ten people, proofreader by me several times, and released, I'll still find errors in my work the next time I open the document. (note: this text doesn't count because I'm writing it on my iPhone and these tiny buttons can really be a pain to manipulate just to correct a punctuation or grammar error).

Whether it's writing or some other task, i'm often tempted to say "well, I've done everything I can do. I'm done." of course when that deadline comes around you have to say that, but I think this illustrates that there is always more that can be done. Sometimes we have to turn to others and say, "any ideas what I could do?" but with a little enginuity and a lot more work, you can take something you think is perfect and improve it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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