It’s Not about the Chairs
March 2019

“It’s Not about the Chairs,” Liahona, March 2019

It’s Not about the Chairs

By Janessa Orgill

Iowa, USA

woman setting up chairs

Illustration by Dan Burr

No one was at the church when, as Young Women president, I arrived to set up chairs in the cultural hall the night before a Young Women activity. I was seven months pregnant, and I had to set up the chairs almost all by myself. But soon my secretary and a counselor arrived and helped me finish. Then we started hanging decorations.

That’s when a lady poked her head in. “I’m sorry,” she said, “but the Relief Society has this room reserved for our yoga class tonight.”

We asked if there was another room they could use, but the other rooms were occupied. So we did the only thing we could: we took down the chairs. I went home that night feeling tired, knowing that in the morning I would need to set up chairs again.

Sometimes life feels this way. With a new baby and four little ones, I feel like I spin my wheels all day and then wake up to do the same thing the next day. At any given moment, there are tummies to fill and piles of clothes, toys, and dishes to put away—I put up the chairs and take down the chairs. That is my life.

But is it about the chairs? As I took down the chairs after the Young Women activity, I couldn’t help but smile as I thought about those fun and wonderful girls I have come to love dearly. I was grateful for the time I had spent with them.

It is the same at home. It’s not about the peanut butter smudges on the couch or the socks that never seem to have a match. It’s about my little family, who swells my heart with joy.

The Lord said: “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33).

The small things have come to mean so much to me: hugs, made-up songs, crayon drawings, skipping to the mailbox and back, and eating burnt toast because it was made just for me.

We may do mundane things day after day, like set up chairs and take them down again. But it’s not about the chairs—it’s about the people we love who sit in them. It’s not about the task at hand—it’s about the people we serve. When I think of them and how much I love them, I thank the Lord for the beauty of life and for tomorrow, when I’ll get up and gladly set up those chairs again.