So, I had a little thought that I wanted to share with you today. I just got a new phone! My son's old iPhone 7 was dying a slow and painful death so I gave him my iPhone 11 and I splurged and got a new iPhone 13 before our family trip to Disneyland this last week.
As I have been getting to know my phone, I was searching through it and found that I had a voicemail box and voicemail options, which honestly - I've never really used. But hey, new phone, right? Let's give it a shot!
Under my “voicemail” tab, I saw the following screen
As you can see, this screen gave the option to “change my default greeting.” The gospel teacher in me kicked in at that moment and I thought, “Hmmmm….If only there were a gospel principle here!”
The word “default” is an interesting word. I looked it up because that’s what I do…
The first one dealt primarily with financial things, loans, etc., but the second one was more intriguing…
“a preselected option adopted by a computer program or other mechanism when no alternative is specified by the user or programmer.”
As I kept searching, another person defined “default” as “someone else’s idea about what is possible”. Hmmmmm…..
So, if I understand this correctly, “default” is what is already there without any effort by me, while “custom” requires effort on my part to make it a lot better.
When you and I came into this cold, hard world, what did we do? We came in crying, screaming, whining, and complaining! It took so little effort on our part to do that. It is the only thing we knew how to do and it came very naturally.
That was our “default greeting” to this world. No other alternative was specified, so that is what we went to.
In the well-known Mosiah 3:19, King Benjamin talks about the “natural man” – and for the purposes of this email, I’ll call him “the default man”
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
Now, lest you think that I am saying that crying babies are enemies to God, let me explain myself…
The “natural, default” man not receiving spiritual things does not necessarily mean that we are born naturally bad, wanting to do bad things. We are not inherently evil. By nature, we are good and want to be good.
We have “divine nature” within us. It could be more like the way we view “natural resources” like water. Water is a wonderful, necessary, and beautiful resource. Until a river is shaped, formed, dammed, encouraged and disciplined, it will flow to wherever it naturally goes, which is often to the lowest point – by default.
So it is with us and our “natural, default resources”. We must find the goodness that is within us and channel it, shape it, build it, and rid ourselves of the destructive parts and steer it where it needs to be until it is an attractive and useful resource in our lives. We need to change it and customize it. Otherwise it will just find the easiest and lowest, natural, default point of least resistance and flow towards it.
That may lend to why our strengths can be closely related to our weaknesses. Come to think of it, there is only one click between the “custom” and the “default” but the difference is huge.
It is therefore essential that we see the good in ourselves and try to consistently shape and discipline it.
We must customize and change and not be content with the “default”. Why use the default Calibri font…
when you can customize with Las Vegas Castaway
or even Sketch Rockwell!
Last week I shared one of my favorite scripture verses to one of my seminary classes as I was finishing up the semester with them.
John 16:33 says…These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
I then posed a couple questions to them
Question 1…Why do we seem to “default” to whining and complaining rather than optimism and cheer?
Their responses were great! Things like, “Because it is so easy to be negative” and “It takes no skill whatsoever to whine and complain” resonated clearly.
Question 2…What do you personally do to “be of good cheer” when the world around you seems to whine and complain?
Again, great answers abounded! Simple, customized things like serving others, smiling and laughing, and gratitude. All things that take effort, but all things that absolutely work.
So, my little message today to our BOMFam is to have the courage to change your defaults and be sure to customize so that you can have a lot more fun with your life…and your phone!
AND...your socks! :)