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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In the Moment

A short post today. Really just an idea I wanted to elaborate on. This has already been a topic of some discussion, but I thought I'd write my thoughts down and see if anyone else wanted to join in on the conversation.


I’ve been reading up on devotionals about the idea of preparing for the purposes we’re placed here for. D&C 64:34 says, “Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind.” The first thought I had when I read this just now was, “Well, I have a willing mind and heart.” But then I realized, I have a willing mind and heart right now, when I’m studying. When I’m alone in my pondering moments, I’m willing to do anything for the Lord. I’m willing to mold myself into whoever the Lord wants me to be and will choose anything that brings me closer to Him. However, when I’m in the midst of my daily actions—when I’m with friends, in class, working, etc. it's so easy to forget where I should submit my will. It’s so easy to forget who I can be in the moment of who I am. So how can I keep my daily actions in line with what the Lord would want of me? How can I be more patient in the moments requiring patience? How can I be more loving, warm, holy, accepting, meek, supportive to those I’m interacting with while I’m interacting with them? How can I be less selfish, attention-seeking, jealous, impatient, frustrated, harsh, judgmental, and condescending in the moments when I’m most tempted to act in such a manner?
I suppose I know the answer. I have to persist in marinating in the gospel. These quiet moments of reflection are my moments in the mountains. They are to fuel me for my daily interactions, but they’re only effective if, while I’m in my daily interactions, I’m constantly keeping the Lord in my mind and heart. That is why this discipleship is not a passive one. I need to mold my character into Christ’s by constantly thinking of Him and centering my actions around Him. When I am faced with a decision (and every reaction is a decision) I must first pray to the Father that I will be filled with His spirit and act according to His will. In the moment I’m being tested, I must pray to be filled with strength to be more like Christ. The important part is remembering to pray for it.
This is an ongoing struggle for me. I so desperately want to refine myself to become like my Savior. And I feel like I can become like Him, but it is so easy to compartmentalize my life when I’m actually living my life. That is my life’s journey, I suppose, to gain the qualities of Christ in my actual daily living. I pray for help in this journey to remember the covenants I’ve made, especially in the moments when Christ's qualities are most needed, when I am tested in day-to-day living.

If any of you have thoughts/advice/similar experiences, I'm up for gaining a three-dimensional view of this issue because I think it's the issue that matters most in mortality.

Happy Fourth of July. What a wonderful time to be alive!
-Whitney

4 comments:

Katy Knight said...

Wow Whitney, I'm very impressed. I love your insights and your introspection. One thing that I've been doing lately is taking inventories of my life. These inventories have been very helpful in helping me pinpoint where I have been wrong in certain situations and then I know where I need to repent and improve. I try to do these inventories on the spot, at the end or each day, and looking back at my past. I also write it all down ... who the interaction was with, what was uncomfortable about the interaction, why I did or said what I did, how can I fix it or be better next time etc.

Phillip said...

Hi Whit! I know exactly how you feel. I do a great job at taking notes in the lecture but I then blow everything up in the lab because I can’t read my own hand writing... if that analogy makes any sense. Basically I really do a bad job of letting the Savior be the Savior because I usually and incorrectly try to do it my way.

This past Spring I read a book called “Falling to Heaven” by James Ferrell. What you said reminded me of one of my favorite passages from that book:

“It is so easy, isn’t it, to spiritually hyperventilate ourselves to the point that we believe that any one sin puts our eternity at risk. But in our gasping for breath, we are forgetting the Savior. Forgiveness awaits if we but come to Him. And sanctification is promised if we continue to repentantly cling to the rod and allow His spirit to change us. On the one hand, we are separated from Him by every sin. On the other hand, this separation is what by necessity binds us to Him. We need not despair.”

One thing that has helped me is that I now pray to see those I interact with as the Savior see’s them. As long as I have been willing to act upon the impressions I have received, little by little, those feelings that the Savior has for someone else have touched me. It hasn't been easy but this process has changed how I interact with others. It's more Christlike because I love them more and in turn, He is helping me overcome my weakness.

I’m sorry for the long comment. I hope this helps in some small way for what you are looking for when you asked for comments.

Noah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Noah said...

After hearing Elder Holland's last G.C. talk "The Laborers in the Vineyard", I think I have been able to boil my hangups down to the 3 E's - Envy, Entitlement, and impatient and selfish Expectations.

Why should I train myself to look past the failings and mistakes of others and focus on their needs and struggles when they should get over themselves and start contributing to the positive emotional state that I deserve? (The audacity of some people...) Or - how dare they have or do something that {I've been tricked into thinking} I need to be happy but don't have! (As Elder Holland puts it - I'm guzzling gallons of pickle juice every time someone is richly blessed, and wondering why I can't shed this water weight gain...)

I'm slowly working on my gratitude for the blessing that other's receive and trying to work on increasing my faith in the Lord's timetable and His finely tuned disbursements relative to my Spiritual progression and needs. I'm becoming more aware that the Lord is making available to me what I need, not necessarily what I want right now.

Anthony de Mellow once wrote:

"What, concretely, is Enlightenment?"
"Seeing Reality as it is," said the Master.
"Doesn't everyone see Reality as it is?"
"Oh, no! Most people see it as they think it is."
"What's the difference?"
"The difference between thinking you are drowning in a stormy sea and knowing you cannot drown because there isn't any water in sight for miles around."

I'm becoming painfully aware the many of my issues with the way I treat people have to do with the fact that I'm hyperventilating thinking I'm going to drown unless others can inflate my life raft, when in fact the Lord has already parted the Red Sea.