It is now about 1:25 am MST. Yet another graveyard. The time is passing rather slowly, mostly because I don't have the normal homework to keep me busy in between my rounds every couple of hours. Tonight I have been mixing a little reading with some movie-watching. In the midst of my reading I came across an encouraging quote by C.S. Lewis.
"No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one's temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: it is the very sign of His presence."
This quote reminded me of another statement, which is part of an incredible talk, made by Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Quorum of the Seventy.
"So if you have problems in your life, don't assume there is something wrong with you. Struggling with those problems is at the very core of life's purpose. As we draw close to God, He will show us our weaknesses and through them make us wiser, stronger. If you're seeing more of your weaknesses, that just might mean you're moving nearer to God, not farther away."
Generally I am a bit discouraged as I see - and begrudgingly acknowledge - my innumerableable weaknesses. I get pretty stressed out over the slightest amount of dirt. My uncle used to say that I could play in a pool of mud and come out clean. While I certainly don't want to be playing in any figurative mud pools, I can be encouraged by my muddy tatteredness at times. Discovering another spot of dirt or a deeper stain can be viewed as an invitation to climb higher. There's no way I can keep "picking [myself] up each time", except that warm towels and clean clothes await.
Merry Christmas to everyone in the blogosphere!
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Recently I have been tempted to go for a swim. Nothing wrong with a little swim, right? Except that the pool that is pulling me is called self-pity. There are no benefits from exercise in this body of water, only drowning. So, I am trying to count my blessings and open my eyes to the tender mercies of God. Sometimes I forget to appreciate the little things that are seemingly insignificant. Consider for example a clear crisp winter day after the inversion has lifted. How about a new haircut and being able to feel the cold air on your big 'ole head! My personal favorite are the moments that you briefly glimpse that you are in the right place - and that it's a good place. The other night while walking over to campus at a very late hour to finish an assignment I had procrastinated for far too long, I had such a moment. The night was dark and the ground was wet from the rain and snow. Few people were on campus and all was very still compared to the rush of activity that is such a part of this place during the day. The clouds were parting after the storm and the stars could be seen above the snow covered mountains that surround this little "Happy Valley". As I walked toward the library, hands in my pockets and eyes toward heaven, I felt something. I felt that subtle and gentle feeling that I have come to recognize as the Spirit of God. I sensed that the feeling is always present in this place, but it took the quiet wintry night to allow it to touch me. In that moment I knew that I was in the right place - and that it is a good place to be!
Posted by C.J. at 5:07 PM