“There once was a man whose lifelong dream was to board a cruise ship and sail the Mediterranean Sea. He dreamed of walking the streets of Rome, Athens, and Istanbul. He saved every penny until he had enough for his passage. Since money was tight, he brought an extra suitcase filled with cans of beans, boxes of crackers, and bags of powdered lemonade, and that is what he lived on every day.
He would have loved to take part in the many activities offered on the ship—working out in the gym, playing miniature golf, and swimming in the pool. He envied those who went to movies, shows, and cultural presentations. And, oh, how he yearned for only a taste of the amazing food he saw on the ship—every meal appeared to be a feast! But the man wanted to spend so very little money that he didn’t participate in any of these. He was able to see the cities he had longed to visit, but for the most part of the journey, he stayed in his cabin and ate only his humble food.
On the last day of the cruise, a crew member asked him which of the farewell parties he would be attending. It was then that the man learned that not only the farewell party but almost everything on board the cruise ship—the food, the entertainment, all the activities—had been included in the price of his ticket. Too late the man realized that he had been living far beneath his privileges.”
The question this parable raises is: Are you living beneath your privileges? Are your receiving all that could be yours or are you sitting on the sidelines waiting to find out what may be coming to you.
Today, I had to teach the Priesthood lesson during the third hour of church today.The lesson I taught was a General Conference Address from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf during the April 2011 General Priesthood Session of Conference. The talk was entitled “Your Potential, Your Privilege.”
Although the talk was addressed to Priesthood holders, I felt as if there were also some general principles that could apply to all of us.
As children of our Heavenly Father, we know that we have infinite capability and potential. A potential that allows all of us to become who He created us to be.
A great poet once said: (Adam Young–Owl City)
Tie my handle bars to the stars
So I stay on track (so I stay on track)
And if my intentions trail I'll wrench them away
Then I'll take my leave and I won't even look back
To me, I think we can commit ourselves to do better and take steps be the person we can become. We all could “tie ourselves to the stars” and make our best attempt to “stay on track.” We can all take on adversity, and make it into an opportunity for growth. In my bedroom I had a quote from Wayne Gretzky which said “You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
I saw that picture every night before I went to bed. I still think about that poster to this day. We all have to”Hope Big..and Dream Big.” If we do, eventually we will reach our potential and live up to our privilege. We can’t spend our lives staying in our “room on the cruise ship, eating beans, and lemonade.” Especially, when we have the buffet and fun waiting for us to participate in. It would be terrible to miss out on amazing experiences and a fulfilling life because we fail to take a risk, or to try something new. We all have infinite potential. Are you living beneath your privileges?