A few months ago, we had a family reunion on my wife’s side of the family. The theme of the reunion was “I’m Ready Now.” If you’re wondering what that means, or why that would be a theme for a family reunion, here is some context behind that statement.
Ephraim Hanks was a well known Mormon pioneer and leader in the mid 1800’s. His story is truly an inspirational one, as depicted in the movie “Ephraim’s Rescue” by TC Christensen (no relation:)).
For anyone who hasn’t seen this movie, I HIGHLY recommend it. Whether you’re familiar with Mormon history or not, his story is quite moving. In 1845, he joined the Mormon church and traveled with other Mormon pioneers through the Rocky Mountains where they eventually settled in Salt Lake City, UT. At this time, Mormons sought refuge from persecution they faced in the east. The journey was not an easy one, and there have been many stories told about the hardships these courageous and faithful Mormon pioneers experienced.
Ephraim’s story is that of his ability to be prepared at a moments notice, both spiritually and temporally, to be able to serve and help those in need. In 1856, Brigham Young, the Mormon prophet at the time, called upon men to venture out across the plains in the Midwest in the middle of winter to assist those that were struggling, starving, and suffering on their journey to Utah. Some men responded that they could be ready in a week, some a few days, but Ephraim responded, “I’m Ready Now.”
Why is this so significant? Why would this story be known? Why would TC Christensen make a movie about it? And why would a family make t-shirts, have a BBQ, play silly games and show off goofy talents to each other about it?
Doesn’t he just sound like an overzealous boy scout?
Perhaps, but the importance of being ready, willing, and prepared, is one that I know I can do better. I sometimes find myself too immersed in my own life to really think about others around me. I make excuses. As a father of 3 very young children (ages 4, 2, and 1), our lives seem to be just non-stop chaos! Some days I barely feel like I can take care of myself, my wife, and my children before I pass out on the couch with food all over the floor, dishes piled high, smelly clothes that were washed 2 days ago in the washer and never moved to the dryer, grass outside that looks like the plains of Africa, DVD’s pulled off their shelves with half of them opened up all over the floor because they make good frisbees, and a stack of emergency room bills because our children are having a “how many stitches can you get” competition. The madness never seems to end!
So how is it possible I can be “ready now” to serve and help others, when I’m barely able to manage the earthquakes and tornadoes in my own life?
Well, the truth is I don’t know.
And typically when I don’t know something, I try and find out. And trying to find out means a lot of thinking and pondering. All of that thinking and pondering results in silence (which usually only happens when I’m driving to and from work), which I then break by humming a tune. The tune evolves into a melody. The melody into ideas. Ideas into words. And next think you know, yup, I’m at the piano again.
I certainly don’t have all the answers. But how boring would life be if I did? Instead of answers, how about I share with you my thoughts in the form of song?
This song is one I wrote for our family reunion this past summer entitled… (you guessed it!) “I’m Ready Now”
You can find said song on my website, www.michaelchristensenmedia.com as well as other music to enjoy!
I firmly believe that music, while it may not give answers to all of life’s problems and challenges, it CAN help us be INSPIRED to find answers for ourselves on a deeper and more impactful level.
I certainly hope that I can be more like Ephraim Hanks and be ready NOW to serve, to sacrifice, and to help. Tomorrow it might be to late.