Monday, September 30, 2013

Crap Happens - But its Smell Doesn't Have to Linger...

Sometimes crap just happens.

At least that's the phrase I learned from my beloved friends in Oklahoma. The idea that no matter how hard one tries to keep out of the stink of life: be it trial, misery or sadness. It still comes knocking.

Maybe that is what Helaman was trying to tell his sons, Nephi and Lehi when he told them how important it was to center their lives around the Son of God - for as he warned "mighty winds" and "shafts in the whirlwind" (I think he meant debris), or "mighty storms shall beat upon you." Aka: Crap Happens. 

Such awfulness seems to be playing in my court as of late. 

Last night, I experienced what it means to mourn with someone else, after she''d experienced being threatened and vulnerable. While I stood by her side, and called the police, I felt strength beyond my own.  

However, when I woke up this morning, a new found threat presented itself: Anger. The type of howdarecrappythingslikethathappentoinnocentpeople anger. And it festered, and rose within my soul as fast and subtle as yeast in homemade bread. Soon I had baked myself into perfect dish of misery. I sobbed that such things could "be" - I grieved over the existence of "wrongness" and "unfairness," especially for its presence in the lives of those I love.

And then the oddest thing happened - a glint of hope, a mere suggestion that changed my day. As I walked into the grocery store, to gather comfort in the form of: chocolate and salt, the merciful phrase came to mind: the best way to combat evil and injustice is to be more kind and loving. 

Crap does happen - but it happened to the best person on earth as well - the Son of God suffered beyond all comprehension and He was perfect. And the miracle of it all? His declaration upon the cross: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:32).  

When served injustice - He offered forgiveness. When hated He loved more deeply.

So - what does this mean for me and perhaps for you? 

While I don't have the complete answer, I feel a bit closer. While crap does happen, it doesn't mean I have to "choose" to live in a smelly world - or to view it in the unjust way I saw it today. I have the conscious choice to give the world flagrant flowers of kindness or love like fresh homemade cookies, instead of polluting the air with more unjust anger or hatred. Perhaps this is what Christ meant when He counseled us to turn the other cheek?

I can almost guarantee that awful things will continue to happen all around me; however, I feel blessed that through the mercy of a loving God, I can still learn how to be kind to family, friends and even strangers; and more importantly, provide our suffering world with a more abundant love.

Crap Happens, but that doesn't mean its smell has to linger.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Truth - Proclaim it.

I started this blog in 2008, because of a challenge given by Elder Ballard in an LDS General Conference. At that time "social media" was merely a making its' way into daily life, and blogs were rather popular. 

Interestingly enough, another talk/sermon given by Elder Ballard has encouraged me to try my hand again at blogging an important subject: Truth.

Sitting at my desk, this morning, I have access to thousand of databases - all with information to convince me that X, Y, or Z is the "cause" of which I should fight for. Sadly, people ARE starving in other countries, rites ARE being denied in others, and oppression reigns globally. And so, individuals, most with great motives, encourage us to stand in the lines of toleration and liberation; hoping that such causes will provide peace, validation and satisfaction. Could such virtues really provide the inner stillness we all long for?

I love this thought from Anne Morrow Lindbergh:
We are aware of our hunger and needs, but still ignorant of what will satisfy them. With our garnered free time, we are more apt to drain our creative springs than to refill them. With our pitchers [in hand] we attempt ... to water a field, [instead of] a garden. We throw ourselves indiscriminately into the committees and causes. Not knowing how to feed the spirit, we try to muffle its demands in distractions. Instead of stilling the center, the axis of the wheel, we add more centrifugal activities to our lives—which tend to throw us [yet more] off balance. 

Mechanically we have gained, in the last generation, but spiritually we have … lost.

Our world is starving for truth - Real. Truth. Simplicity that answers the question of the soul such as: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Curious for real answers? (Check out this Page )

Consider the profoundness of this proclamation made in the Doctrine and Covenants:
 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it (D&C 123:12).
These words can prove helpful in our navigation for truth about ourselves and our world. When weighing information on the scales of "truth" we need to ask ourselves the motives behind information. Does it seek to deceive, to blind, or to hide? Or does it speak boldly, plainly and clearly?

For those of us who are lucky enough to have uncovered precious gems of truth - be it secular or spiritual - are we sharing it? Consider this challenge:
Therefore ... we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven - These should then be attended to with great earnestness...
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed (D&C 123:13-14,17).
Such thoughts and feelings transpired within my soul - because one humble man was courageous enough to remind me of the power and plainness of truth. He wasn't there to impress or entertain me with sensational stories or statistics. His motive was to proclaim Truth. To help me remember that I am a child of God with a divine purpose. 

And so I pass on simple truths to you:
  • God Lives - He is Our Loving Heavenly Father
  • You are loved by God, because you are His child
  • You can talk with God by praying - and He will answer.

These simple truths can change your life.