For my Friends…..
I have spoken with several of my dear friends lately and I have noticed something. Many of them are feeling overwhelmed with something going on in their lives. I felt the above photo may work to express some of those feelings. This is our golf course, in town. Every winter, it floods. You can see the flag to the right. And if you have amazing eyes, you can see the ducks swimming on the left, or at least one. There was a whole group, but I couldn’t get the group and the flag. But yes, that little white speck on the photo is a duck!! (As are the two in the middle, I think…….) This is an early winter flood photo. If I took one today, the water may be up close to the flag. We joke that you could kayak in the golf course from tee to tee, use scuba or snorkeling gear and play golf. But back to the issue at hand.
I had a temple recommend interview with my stake president last week. My recommend expired at the end of January. In my interview, he asked me two questions that aren’t typical. He first asked if I was having meaningful personal prayer, regularly. I could answer that I was having personal prayer regularly. Was it meaningful???!! Well, I could probably work more on that. I have those immediate, oh please help me now, prayers. And I say them as I am exhausted and falling asleep. I decided that I did need to focus a little more on the sincerity and content. The second question was am I reading my scriptures regularly. I am reading regularly, not always in my canonized scriptures, but Ensign, or conference or something. But as I talked with him, I realized that there have been times in my life where I have definitely felt more in tune or that I was receiving more personal revelation than I currently am. Now as a side note, my life is always a little crazy and needs adjustment after I have a baby. It takes me about six months to get back into the swing of life.
Well, my baby is six months old. I determined after the interview that I needed to do better and to be more diligent in the personal prayers and scripture study department.
This weekend we had stake conference where I had the opportunity to listen to my stake president speak. He then taught this analogy (he played professional baseball for a while):
His main point was illustrated with a baseball story about a Nolan Ryan fast ball (go figure!). A Nolan Ryan fast ball has been clocked at 104 m/hr. That ball travels 60 feet 6 inches in 0.4 seconds. People have done studies to see how fast people can make decisions, like picking up their glasses off of the podium. Those studies show that decision implementation takes 0.5 seconds. So the question then becomes, how can a player at the plate decide whether to swing or duck at a Nolan Ryan fast ball. The answer is that the players’ sub-conscious takes over. The decision to swing or not is so automatic that it is done in the subconscious. He then taught us that in matters of gospel decision making, or moral choices, we should have thought them through enough that the decisions are already made. There shouldn’t be a question of whether or not we are going to make a right or a wrong choice. We should be living the gospel so completely that decisions have already been made and we are free to act properly quickly. Time making the decision may cause too much opportunity for sin. I thought that was interesting.
Then he talked about the scripture in 2nd Nephi 28: 7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.
8 And there shall also be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be bmerry; nevertheless, fear God—he will cjustify in committing a little dsin; yea, elie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a fpit for thy neighbor; there is gno harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
14 They wear astiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and bwhoredoms, they have all cgone astray save it be a dfew, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are eled, that in many instances they do ferr because they are taught by the precepts of men.
20 For behold, at that day shall he (Satan) arage in the bhearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
21 And others will he apacify, and lull them away into carnal bsecurity, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the cdevil dcheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
22 And behold, others he aflattereth away, and telleth them there is no bhell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful cchains, from whence there is no deliverance.
23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be ajudged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a blake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at aease in Zion!
25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!
He told us that as the humble followers of Christ, we are in danger of being lulled away if we are not diligent in our commitment to the basics. We must not think that we are spiritual enough that we do not need to read our scriptures today, or to say our prayers, or that our family is strong enough that we do not need to have FHE, etc….
So my dear friends…………
If you are feeling overwhelmed, make sure the basics are happening and happening well. Let the rest of the world take a back seat. We all have times where life is crazy and difficult. Those times are more manageable if we are being diligent in the spiritual basics. That may mean the laundry doesn’t get done, the homework doesn’t get done, practice doesn’t happen, or we cancel a meeting, don’t volunteer, or just stop answering the phone, or turn off the computer. When life is too busy for the spiritual basics, life is too busy. Cut stuff out, focus and start rebuilding as you have strength and energy.
Your Sister in Zion