Without Thought of the Score

Tuesday, July 15

7-15By Jane Gardner, High Priest Quorum president

But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.

—Matthew 19:30 NRSV

Early in our marriage we fell into a pattern of scorekeeping. Without realizing it, we were keeping track of who did the most chores around the house and ran the most errands. We each were quick to point out to the other when the “scores” were out of balance. In following years, we came to understand the flaws in our approach.

Watching my dad act as a caregiver for my mother clearly showed this. Mom lived with Alzheimer’s for more than six years. It was only the last 1½ years of Mom’s life that Dad finally agreed to move her into a memory unit for specialized care. Through the years of in-home care, he coaxed and prodded; he lifted and washed; he fed and encouraged. It was an important example for us.

Strictly speaking, the “score” was way out of line—Dad did everything for Mom. I don’t think Dad saw it that way. His perspective included their shared life of love and memories of the dynamic woman my mom was. The fun, energetic life she led blessed those who connected with her.

Scorekeeping also does not work within discipleship. God’s hierarchy puts the last, first. God coaxes and prods; lifts and washes; feeds and encourages. As his followers, Jesus calls us to this same nature of service without thought of the score.

Prayer for Peace God of the first and the last, coax and prod us to service and sharing, until it is our way of life. Bless our memories to become positive lessons for our discipleship. Help us invite those in need to cut in line and share the blessings of a peaceful community.

Spiritual Practice: Spiritual Learning Meditate on a time when you learned about community from someone who took you in, fed you, taught you, shared stories and wisdom with you. What did you learn? Prayerfully create a list of qualities you need to learn from spiritual mentors and friends. Then write the names of people who serve as teachers, models, coaches, or encouragers in your life as a disciple. Offer a prayer of gratitude and blessing for these spiritual “relatives” and friends.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will give and give again, not worrying about what I may receive.

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  1. Linda McGeary

     /  15 July 2014

    Thank you for the timely reminder.

  2. Vera Entwistle

     /  15 July 2014

    Your Daily Bread today is a reminder to us all not to keep score. We have a friend who is caring for his wife with Alzheimer’s and we are concerned for him as he gives his all to support her to the detriment of his own well being. He is certainly not keeping score. Thanks for sharing this reminder.

  3. I love reading testimonies about people I know and love!

  4. Dorcas Wilkinson

     /  15 July 2014

    Thanks, Jane. You put this in real time, in real life and real ‘being’!

  5. Janné Grover

     /  15 July 2014

    What a beautiful reminder to us all of the importance of nurturing relationships and caring for those we love. Thank you for sharing this story of your parents.


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