It's A Consequence of LivingFriday, January 08, 2016
The bitter salt of tears pierce souls a like. Hardship is no respecter of persons it's a consequence of living. For these truths, these laws of the universe, I'm grateful. Why you ask? Because in those quite moments when you feel as though you can't get up, That you've tried as hard as you can, that the world is out to get you, you have a choice. Sure as the saying goes you could dust yourself off and get back up again but you and I both know sometimes it's just not that easy. Isn't that the beauty of a trial? Most of us know the next step but are we willing to take it? The silence at the bottom can be deafening, but the opportunities it grants us, growth, change, power, humility, perspective, faith. That's the stuff that makes ordinary people into extraordinary people. That's the rare beauty of a trial.
If I clear away the rubble I can once again see the privileges and blessings we were afforded This year. Though sometimes difficult to distinguish the list as I have pondered about it has grown to number in the hundreds and probability if I had a more affluent vocabulary the thousands.
In 2016 I want more, don't we all? Don't worry the selfishness of that statement isn't as bad as it sounds. Sure I'd like to make more money, it isn't all bad in fact it paid for the ingredients that created this delightful Christmas tradition experience.
In truth the statement is a little less WANT more and a whole lot BE more. The beginning of a New Year gives each of us a chance to start anew and refocus our efforts, goals, and attitudes on bettering ourselves. Shouldn't we be doing this year round? Sure but don't beat yourself up over it just make the effort and begin to change.
I read a talk recently by Elder Holland that so profoundly struck a cord with my I decided to base my Relief Society Lesson around it. I'd like to share a few of those thoughts with you.
Remember Lot's Wife:
For those of you that don't know the biblical tale the original story comes to us out of the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord basically has taken all the wickedness he can stand and he tells Lot and his family to flee as the cities are going to be destroyed. With a little less than immediate obedience and more than a little negotiation, Lot and his family leave town. Upon daybreak the morning following their escape the scriptures tell us that the lord overthrew the cities and as that Lot and his family " Look not behind thee" and what happens Lot's wife looks back and was turned into a pillar of salt.
One of the many wonderful somethings of history is to teach us the lessons of life it gives us the ability to learn from the past. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"- George Santayana
So what's the big deal. If history is so important. What did Lot's wife do that was so wrong?
"As something of a student of history, I have thought about that and offer this as a partial answer. Apparently what was wrong with Lot’s wife was that she wasn’t just looking back; in her heart she wanted to go back. It would appear that even before they were past the city limits, she was already missing what Sodom and Gomorrah had offered her.
So it isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future."
What keeps us from progressing? Why do we struggle to move past old experiences even when we know they are holding us back from moving forward with confidence?
We need to ask ourselves the difficult questions. What do I need to change? How can I improve? What weakness needs strengthening?
"I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives."
Lot's wife doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than what she already had. "To yearn to go back to a world that cannot be lived in now; to be perennially dissatisfied with present circumstances and have only dismal views of the future; to miss the here-and-now-and-tomorrow because we are so trapped in the there-and-then-and-yesterday—these are some of the sins, if we may call them that, of Lot’s wife"
One fall day—I think it was in the first semester after our marriage in 1963. We stopped and wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. Life that day seemed so overwhelming. I turned to Pat and said something like this: “Honey, should we give up? I can get a good job and carve out a good living for us. I can do some things. I’ll be okay without a degree. Should we stop trying to tackle what right now seems so difficult to face?”
Then my beloved little bride did what she has done for 45 years since then. She grabbed me by the lapels and said, “We are not going back. We are not going home. The future holds everything for us.”
She stood there in the sunlight that day and gave me a real talk. It was a living demonstration of faith. It was “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".
Be a Giver Not A Taker
And he said to them. "follow me and I will make you fishers of men".
Love My Husband MORE
Cherish the Joy of Motherhood
Come to Know my Savior More Deeply
The Pursuit of Health
Work Hard, Stay Humble
I don't want to forget 2015. Kicking my less then fabulous year to the curb affords me no growth. "Sometimes after some great event is over, we close our minds on it and forget about what we have done." 2015 changed me. As we face the light and potential of a new year don't erase the value of a life well lived in 2015, the good and the bad. Own everything that has happened to you. “At some point you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening.” Rally the troops, today's a new day, the start of a new year the beginning of a different you.