Sunday, September 2, 2012

Reflection on Boxes

I always find it fascinating how different people are...attitudes, sense of right and wrong, political viewpoints...sigh....ESPECIALLY political viewpoints.  So many people think that they have alllllll the answers.

I came up with a basic theory about this a few years ago.  Let's see if I can illustrate it sufficiently.

My theory is that everyone has a box that they live in.  Some people's boxes are pretty big.  They're comfortable with few rules, and are open to different situations and viewpoints.  Ron's (my husband) box is so huge that it's blown wide open.  What rules?

My box is just a small lil' thing.  I like rules.  I like order.  I hate stepping on cracks.  You know what I mean?

So, upon reflection, I think people respond best to those things that they are most comfortable with.  Like water, they choose their own 'level'.  So, there seems to be a place for everyone in the world.  We can all find our 'normal'.  Still, we're never quite satisfied with stagnant.  We want movement.  We want progression.

Luckily, we can grow.  I remember when I was first looking for the right church.  I felt that there were distinct things missing in my life.  I wanted answers to specific questions.  It took years (I started looking when I was 13), but when I had my first meeting with the LDS missionaries and heard their message, I KNEW I had found it.  In my heart, I was home.

Still, one does not find faith and everything is taken care of.  When people first come to an awareness of God, it seems like they concentrate on how this faith helps them, changes them, works for them. 
Its only after they work through those questions and take time to study scriptures and learn how to communicate with Heavenly Father that they start thinking about what they can do for God rather than what God can do for them.

It dawns on me that this is similar to the experiences of the Israelites under the guidance of Moses.  He was bringing down the higher law, the Law of Christ from off the Mount - but the Israelites were not ready.  They were busy figuring out what god to follow and who was going to take better care of them.  They just weren't ready to live that law - so God, in His mercy (rather than as a punishment) gave them the Mosaic Law - a simpler and more self focused law, in my mind.  "Do this, don't do that, definitely don't do THAT!"

Anyway, I believe that the ultimate goal is to move away from self and selfishness (which, you might notice is the total opposite of what the world tries to tell us).  We are only partially satisfied when our needs are taken care of.  Rather like children - it's good.  But as we become more aware of our surroundings, we begin to be concerned about more than just our material needs.

We become teenagers.

Now we want to know more than just "why"....we want to know "why not"?  Why can't we just stop the killing?  Why can't we stop the bad guys?  Why do we have to suffer the indignities of eating our vegetables, wearing uniforms, or attending boring ol' meetings?

It's an awkward age - but a necessary process.  We have to go thru the stage of "I know soooooo much more than all of these fools", and experience the embarrassment of finding out that we DON'T know better, we aren't, actually the "fairest of the land" and that we are, in most cases .... actually sheep.

Yep, sheep.  Followers - and blind followers at that.  When we are just out there trying to find something to satisfy that gnawing emptiness, we are so easily led astray.

Isn't it interesting.....The more we try to be different, the more we are just following the path our forefathers. 

Now, in the long run, I'm not saying that it's bad to be a follower.  Quite the opposite - after all, we are His sheep, aren't we?  All of one fold, yes?  But who is our shepherd and how do we follow?  And what is the result?

Our example is our Lord, Jesus Christ.  He sacrificed everything for us, and in that sacrifice, he is perfect and glorious.  Most of us can't understand it - He was dirt poor, homeless, hated, and ultimately murdered.  No one in their right mind would seek such a life.  But Jesus knew that the true reward is in the perfect act of love.  He is glorified, but more over, He has saved the world, and the people that He loves so perfectly.  He has honored his Father and served Him selfishly.  He is the King, but His joy is not from the status of being king but rather from the results brought about by that service.

I think of the people I most admire - Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Mandela, and our dear, dear prophets like Spencer W. Kimball, Gordon B. Hinkeley and Thomas S. Monson.  None of these people had it easy - each faced hardship, challenges, despair and in some cases, martyrdom.  I don't judge them on the mistakes they made, I honor them for always trying to do better and to recognize that despite their weaknesses, their greatest service was to serve God and lead God's people.  I recognize them for living the life I hope to someday achieve - I wish it with my whole heart.

I love my Savior.  I love my family.  I try very hard to love my fellowman (though I still have a lot of repenting and a lot of changing to do.)  And in this, I hope to show my extreme love of Heavenly Father.

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