Monday, July 12, 2010
Life. It's been on my mind. The twists and turns that lead us to unexpected places. The people we happen to meet when it seems to be just the right time. The trying times in which it seems nothing good happens for a small eternity. The highs that we ride when we are proud of something we've accomplished. Somewhere in the middle of all of these feelings and experiences, we will occasionally stop and realize...."I am the one holding myself back."
We probably can't count on a thousand hands the times when we realize that the reason that things don't always go how we want them to go is because we have stepped in our own way. I have ruined so many opportunities, failed so many of life's little lessons, and royally screwed up things that may have been great....but as long as I learn something, I have progressed. For a while, I will be able to stand on my own feet, my own convictions, and maybe help a soul or two along the way. Then, before I know it, I am back to the start. (The inventors of the game of life should have had a "go back to the start" space on the board. Heck, for that matter, multiple spaces of the sort.)
Once in a while, when I am having a hard time trusting my Heavenly Father's plan, he will send someone to kindly scold me for my slothfulness. The person who has had the largest and greatest impact on me is my wife. I couldn't pray for a more perfect creation to help me through this life, or the next. On top of this great blessing of support, I have been blessed with friends that understand some things about life that I really need to work on. I recently had such a friend help me immensely. I am proud to call Joseph Mcmanama my good friend. He helped me better understand what sacrifice really means, and how it is often misconstrued. I would like to expand on this topic.
SACRIFICE - Many of us are very confused about sacrifice. Sacrifice seems to be offering up something of great value for something of a lesser value. The example that Joe gave was that he got home from his mission, and he COULD have said "I sacrificed for two years...I am going to rip of my shirt and tie, and do what I want to do." He later explained that Sacrifice is very different. If we sacrifice drinking coffee or smoking, our health will be better. (That's not a small reward, that is much greater.) Or, we sacrifice something that hinders our salvation....we can recieive eternal life as a result...not a small reward.
The things that I have given up in my life have been extremely difficult to overcome. These were opportunities for me to step back and realize just how much damage my actions affected EVERYONE IN MY LIFE. Obviously, when we are dealing with a serious sin, and we rightfully own up to it, repent, and forsake the sin, we will learn and grow immensely. We are progressing at a rate that is alarming to Satan, and this stirs up the forces of evil against us. Before we know it, we have found another way to transgress Heavenly Father's commandments.
We have to work extremely hard not to be "the natural man" as the scriptures portray. The natural man is impulsive, lustful, and seeks physical needs over emotional and spiritual needs. We all struggle in some way with desires. We need the support of Family, Friends, and the Savior. We CANNOT make it through this life without the love and help of Jesus Christ. Only through him is it possible to live with him after this life. I only hope and pray that I am ready when it is my time.
You may be thinking, "Wow!!! Devon hasn't brought up heavy metal in this post!!! He is starting to learn!!!" I'm going to spoil it for you now :)
The music I listen to reminds me that no matter who I was before, I have the strength to move forward without those tendencies, whithout those distractions, without thoughtless actions, etc...
My Friends have helped me immensely, especially my senior year of high school when I needed help the most. There is strength in numbers. But what we do when we are alone defines who we really are. When I'm alone, and blasting my loud, yet religious music, I'm thinking about what I need to do to be a better person, to progress, and to rise above temptation.
Sometimes when I feel like I'm no good, I remember the words of Coach Larry Gelwix of the Highland Rugby team, "God doesn't make a no-good anything." Coach Gelwix is so right. Stay strong my friends.