HAVE YOU EVER LOOKED IN THE BACK OF THE BOOK FOR ANSWERS?
SOMETIMES YOU CAN'T......
As an intro, I'm going to bring up those ever painful memories of doing homework. Oh, boy. Wasn't it great when we could find answers to every odd numbered question in the back of the book? Torture being made easier gave us hope, which was probably false hope, but still, some hope to hold on to.
Everybody has times in their life when the answers would be awesome to have, but even if they were available, they were written in code.
Without fail, something you can do to bring on such trials is to do what I've done far too many times to make sense of it; Pray for patience. Why would one want to do this? Something about becoming a better person is the only common theme that I can remember when making this choice. Once it's done, there is no going back, you just have to take whatever comes.
Recently, I once again asked for Heavenly Father to teach me to have more patience. It's like he sits in heaven waiting for us to ask, because these prayers seem to be answered faster than any other prayer. This time its really got me grasping at straws. I've really done myself in. Now I want to take back that prayer, but even if I could, I obviously needed to work on myself, so I wouldn't take it back anyway.
And so it goes. As an answer to my prayer, I find myself in a situation that I've never been in before. I have no idea what formula to follow, no idea of what the final outcome will be, and no clue of what the lesson to be learned will provide. Oddly enough, I do know how to show my work while solving these problems, which ought to make my old teachers happy for me.
The worst part of it right now is that I'm slowly finding out that many of the issues that I now face are my own fault. What's up with that? It's like I'm being told to turn the other cheek multiple times, but if that's what I'm supposed to do, then I'll keep doing it. I have already hit rock bottom. I have had thoughts and feelings that were unknown to me previously, and almost done some very stupid things. Prayer and support have been vital to my overall health and strength.
THIS IS WHERE THE HEAVY METAL COMES IN....
Tim Lambesis (As I Lay Dying), one of my heroes, gave us some insight. "It seems our problems solve themselves, when we look beyond us, to those truly in hell." I've tried to incorporate this thought, and it helps. Even though this is probably the toughest trial overall that I've had the pleasure of having, doing things for others seems to ease the pain. Doing work in the LDS temples is probably the most spiritual way to serve others. Simply doing the extra kind thing for my family is doing a lot for me as well. It's not so hard to do the latter, because I love them unconditionally. If they happen to read this, I hope they hear it and know it once again.
Sometimes we resemble a heavy metal ballad, even without knowing that we do. We (usually our intentions) can be misunderstood, like the music that I listen to. The words are not always heard clearly until we've heard them many times in repetition. There is a lot of noise that is making it even harder to focus on the message. In our lives, we have to repeat ourselves a lot when trying to convey feelings to others, and there are many distractions. Just like a song, each person will take what is being said differently.
There is a song by Born Of Osiris called "Singularity." It is an extremely heavy, loud, and chaotic sounding song. At the same time, I hear more passion in that song than so many others that I've heard. With somebody that is not talented in the art of metal-listening, they would probably get a headache and not feel positive after hearing it. Does that mean that the person who wrote it is unsuccessful as a musician? That depends on their reason for writing it. If it was written for themselves (which in this case is apparent to me), then they succeeded quite well.
As long as we are doing what we know we should be doing, we are showing our work. Even if we don't know the formula, the answer, or our learning objective, we will gain much. Keeping the commandments, praying, going to the temple to do work for the dead, and shifting focus away from myself are the ways that I'm dealing with my trial. Will it work out for me in the end? I don't know that right now, but I'll do my best to show my work, that way when it's all said and done, I'll be able to learn whatever I needed to.
If only I had the strength (musically or spiritually) of the band For Today, I'd be better off. The lyrics to a song on their new album, Immortal, are encouraging and instructional:
For Today - Fearless
"We will not
We will not
We will not be afraid
WE ARE FEARLESS!!!!.....
I can feel the courage rising in the hearts of the sons of God,
I can feel a fire burning, across the Earth we stand as one.
Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
We will fear no evil, for we know that you are near.
We will not
We will not
We will not be afraid
WE ARE FEARLESS!!!!
SO LET THE DEVIL COME"
I guess that is why I prayed for patience. So that I can have that kind of strength. I hope it works, but for now, it's kicking my butt :(