Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Road To Emmaus

A few years ago I took my Son-In-Law and Grandson to the Fathers and Sons Outing. The ground was sloped and hard and I didn't sleep very well. At about four AM, I'd had enough and crawled out of my sleeping bag. I didn't want to awaken anyone, so I decided to go for a walk. It was a lovely starlit night on the mountain so I grabbed my binoculars and walked away from camp along a lonely dirt road. Jupiter was just setting in the west and I got a marvelous view of her majesty, being able to see three of her moons as I watched.

As I walked along the road I felt the companionship of my Savior. We walked and conversed for almost three hours. I thought I was on my own road to Emmaus. My heart swelled within me as we walked in the way. I returned rejoicing at my precious moments of love and clarity as I quietly walked with God.

For Christmas that year my daughters gave me this lovely painting.

I see here, the two disciples who had met and conversed with the Risen Lord on the Road to Emmaus. Here they are hastening back to Jerusalem to tell the others what they had seen.  It seems that in despair and discouragement they'd been retreating to their old lives, not knowing what else to do in the absence of their Master. He met with them and taught them as the walked, but their "eyes were holden" and the didn't recognize him. They'd heard that he'd been resurrected, but apparently found it difficult to believe. Then as they sat with Him at supper their eyes were opened and in one precious moment realized it was true and recognized, through His teaching and by the Spirit, that scripture had been fulfilled. Thus fortified, they changed their course and headed back to Jerusalem, to the Apostles and to their duty. The painting so beautifully depicts their humble awe, and determination, and repentance and clarity of purpose.

And so it is with me. Too often I retreat from my duty for lack of faith, humility and understanding. Too often, when things don't go as I intended or thought they should, I turn in despair and discouragement and wander off on my own Road to Emmaus. Today as I listened to Conference and sat at the feet of prophets, He came again and walked with me and I, like those two disciples, felt my heart burn within me as the scriptures were opened unto me. Thankfully, though I wasn't worthy, He caught up with me on my errant road and turned me and my heart around.

Like those two, earnest faces, in the painting, I have some repenting to do. I need to return to my duty with renewed determination and humility, gently reminded of who I am and what I've been given and that, I too, must be about my Father's business.

Oh, blessed Conference, I must never miss it!

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