* * * * *
– Second Hand Heart –
Performed by Ben Haenow
(Featuring Kelly Clarkson)
The light of the morning finds you sleeping in my bed
And it’s not like the stories; it’s never like what they said
I know who you want me to be but I’m just not there yet
Yeah, the broken road’s always been home and it’s so hard to forget
Wait for me now
Will you wait for me now?
I might think too much, drink too much, stay out too late
I know I’m just a fool, but I swear I can change
I can’t steal you the stars, but I can give you this secondhand heart
All your friends think I’m hopeless, they don’t understand
That this imperfect love can start over again
It’s been broken apart, but will you still take my secondhand heart?
(FIRST STANZA REPEATS)
If you let me show you, I could love you the same
And I can’t steal you the stars but I can try every day
Oh, you know they’ll never tear us apart
And I’m just a fool, but I swear I can change
And I can’t steal you the stars, but I can try every day
Oh, you know you got my secondhand heart
(SECOND BRIDGE REPEATS)
* * * * *
“I know who you want me to be but I’m just not there yet.”
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ commanded us all, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Heavenly Father sent Jesus Christ to earth, in part, to be our Exemplar—our standard of perfection to Whom we look as a model of mortal living and service to God. And we know that Jesus accomplished His Father’s purposes, fulfilling God’s Plan of Salvation by establishing His Church, completing the atonement by the shedding of His innocent blood in Gethsemane and on Calvary, and then breaking the bonds of death through the miraculous resurrection.
What a daunting act to follow! It is no wonder that many, including myself, often feel like they fall short of God’s love and mercy, as well as feeling disconnected or undeserving of the grace of the Redeemer as they travail through day-to-day life on their way to heaven. Thankfully, modern prophets and apostles have offered us clarity and comfort in the seemingly-impossible commandment to be perfect as our Savior and Father are. Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926 – 2004), a modern-day apostle of Jesus Christ, gave this reassuring thought:
“Our perfect Father does not expect us to be perfect children yet. He had only one such Child. Meanwhile, therefore, sometimes with smudges on our cheeks, dirt on our hands, and shoes untied, stammeringly but smilingly we present God with a dandelion—as if it were an orchid or a rose! If for now the dandelion is the best we have to offer, He receives it, knowing what we may later place on the altar. It is good to remember how young we are spiritually.”
~ Elder Neal A. Maxwell, That Ye May Believe (1992), 100.
What a beautiful and comforting expression from a servant of the Lord! Absolute perfection to match that of our Divine Creator is probably not possible in this life for most of us (perhaps none of us). Sometimes we may turn our eyes heavenward and lament that we are not quite living at our full, divine potential as children of God. But we are assured that if we “come unto Christ, and be[come] perfected in Him, and deny [our]selves of all ungodliness … and love God with all [our] might, mind and strength, then is His grace sufficient for [us], that by His grace [we] may be perfect in Christ” (Moroni 10:32).
Along with this scripture, it is important also to note that our “best,” is a constantly fluctuating condition. To do our best does not always have the same minimum effort or maximum attainment. Your personal best will change daily based on life stresses, emotional and physical wellness, circumstances, and so much more. Therefore, human comparison becomes the poison to our ability to feel like we are doing our best, because there will always be someone who seems to be doing better than we are (at least from our perspective) Though, I once heard a phrase that I’ve always loved, which goes, “Never compare your Behind-the-Scenes to someone else’s Highlight Reel.”