Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Try Everything

Have I mentioned that I love listening to music with my daughter? We have been on an a cappella kick recently and have enjoyed the talents of “Home Free,” the 2013 winners of NBC’s show, The Sing Off. Their arrangement of “Try Everything” recently struck a chord with me (pun intended). 

For the sake of background, “Try Everything” was originally sung by Shakira and is from the Disney movie, Zootopia about aspiring police officer Judy Hopps and the crafty criminal turned sidekick, Nick Wilde. I loved the movie and have used the “What do you call a camel with 3 humps?” joke often. (The answer is “pregnant”) But I want to focus on the lyrics to the main song from the soundtrack, “Try Everything.” The last verse resounded with me on a day when I was feeling a little down:

“Look how far you've come

You filled your heart with love

Baby, you've done enough, take a deep breath

Don't beat yourself up

Don't need to run so fast

Sometimes we come last, but we did our best”

I have had the experience of coming in last and it was embarrassing, but I do think I was doing my best. I’m sure there are always moments we can look back on in our lives and think, “Wow, that was dumb. Wish I could have changed that or done that better.” I think that is one of the beautiful things about the principle of repentance in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In his April 2018 General Conference address titled “Until Seventy times seven,” Elder Lynn G. Robbins spoke about how repentance allows us to make mistakes and learn from them as opposed to being condemned by them. He said,

 “Mistakes are a fact of life. Learning to skillfully play the piano is essentially impossible without making thousands of mistakes—maybe even a million. To learn a foreign language, one must face the embarrassment of making thousands of mistakes—maybe even a million. Even the world’s greatest athletes never stop making mistakes. ‘Success,” it has been said, “isn’t the absence of failure, but going from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm.’”

Isn’t that a liberating idea? I can do my best and still fall short, come in last place, mess up again, lose another fight, but because of the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, I can learn from those experiences and keep moving forward. Now, let me be clear, while “Try everything” sounds great, there are some things that I don’t want to try. I have seen the negative effects of some things in the lives of others and that is enough for me to know that I don’t want to try them. I am eternally grateful for the love of Jesus Christ. I love that “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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