Sunday, October 25, 2009

You Give Me Fever

Alas, I couldn't run forever!

So this last week has been a mixture of midterms, Divine Comedy retreats, haircuts and on-campus events. Oh yes, and the swine flu.

Around this time last year, the H1N1 virus seemed so far away. Infecting the lower classes of third world countries and wiping out herds of rural farmers. I scoffed at the idea that it would enter the walls of my own home. Then a new cast member of Divine Comedy had to miss our Saturday show to go to the hospital because of severe vomiting and a high fever. It was when she emerged from the ER that night proclaiming that she had been afflicted with the swine that it really hit the fan.

It was like a line of dominoes.

Why was I surprised to find myself at 102° and hacking up my lungs along with the ribcage that protected it? With a sunshine yellow mask as my consolation prize, I returned home to face a long weekend of achy sleep, sore throats, and sexy phlegm that makes my voice quite husky.

Allow me to share some insight this viral infection has presented to me:

The harder and faster you're hit, the quicker and sweeter your recovery.
Most students would rather sell their pancreas than miss a midterm.
Sleep can pleasantly surprise you. So can people.

Swine flu. It's not that bad. (:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Isn't that just life?

[A delightful piece of history from the International Thespian Festival my freshman year of high school (: Just thought I'd share a bit of visual stimulation.]

This past week has been a weird, odd, awful, wonderful, crazy, calming, everything in between sort of week. Once again, I think I've crossed another threshold in my spiritual quest for knowledge and understanding when it comes to our interactions with the Lord. Allow me to elaborate.

See, many times I have been struck by a spiritual prompting and automatically assume that this is the only right path. This is what the Lord wants me to do forever and ever and if I stray from it now, it's on my head. This idea can overflow into many facets of life: educational, social, dating, vocational, etc. My thoughts were, "What am I supposed to do, Heavenly Father?" And then I would feel good about something and pursue it.

But I think our Heavenly Father is much more merciful than that. The more I get to know of Him, the more I'm assured that He's a very flexible God when it comes to living our lives. I've heard multiple times that when asking the Lord a question, like marriage for example, you shouldn't approach Him with, "Should I marry this person?" Rather, you should go forward, and tell the Lord, "Listen, I love this person and you're going to have to drag me kicking and screaming to look for anybody else. Stop me if I'm wrong." The Lord knows what is right, but He also knows our personal thoughts, tastes and preferences. He knows our weaknesses and our strongest motivations and what will ultimately make us as individuals happy in the best way our individual selves could be happy. He knows these perfectly at every point in our lives and our constantly changing natures.

Let me put it this way: If you would love nothing more than to become a dentist, by all means, you should go into dentistry. And the Lord will probably support you in that. But if something doesn't work out; if your classes never match up or you discover the bitter world of dentist politics or a better profession comes along, don't feel bad that you felt right about dentistry in the first place. The Lord didn't lead you astray. He merely guided you in a path that would make you happiest at that point. It doesn't mean that He will always guide you along that path. This whole series of events is a process in which we need to experience all the parts, good and bad.

I'm not sure why my life takes me in different routes, and I'm not sure why some things match up and some things don't, but I truly believe in the concept of taking things line upon line, precept upon precept. The Lord will work with us, strengthen us at every stage, and He will be our advocate in every righteous pursuit.

I'm having my ups and downs at the moment, but this new epiphany has brought me comfort and solace:

Just because life backs out on you sometimes doesn't mean the Lord backs out, too. And it doesn't mean that you were wrong.

That's my take home message for you all. Vague? Maybe. Applicable? Hopefully. From the depths of my spirit and my heart? Most definitely.

Love to all,

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Conference Contemplations

Oy. What a wonderful weekend, eh?

Let me say that this week hasn't been the greatest. I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off to get things ready for the show and other quite stressful things. Definitely not in the mindset to cherish and uplift those around me.

At one point in particular, I wanted to hash every negative thought in my head out onto the table and jump up and down and shout, "Can't you do this little bit for me?!" I started the weekend feeling terrible and selfish and so very hopeless in all the petty as well as significant aspects of my life.

Then I sat down to four sessions of exactly what I needed.

Love. Compassion. Service. Selflessness. I needed to hear these again and again. Elder Scott's talk of inspiration and revelation; Elder Bednar's of maintaining a righteous home and family; Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk of making love the center of our lives; Henry B. Eyring's talk of praying for love; H. David Burton's talk of maintaining integrity, charity, civility, spirituality, dignity, fidelity, generosity and morality; Thomas S. Monson's talk of doing good for others all around you; Holland's powerful testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon; Michael T. Ringwood's talk of keeping our hearts soft and ready to commit to the Lord's instructions. All of these hit me upside the head with Love. Compassion. Service. Selflessness. Charity. Forgiveness. Trust. Honesty. And Integrity.

I find myself truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful organization. I am even more blessed to have direct communication with a Heavenly Father who loves and cherishes us, who knows our needs and specifically succors us in our weaknesses and who sees us through trying times.

I would like to add my testimony to the many wonderful ones borne today from such righteous leaders. I know that this Church is true. I know that our Savior is pleading for us to return to live with Him again and I know that we are given the means to do so. Here. In this lifetime. With the scriptures we possess and the people we associate with.

That's basically it. I say this in the name of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.