Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Letting God Decide How to Answer My Prayers

I've been thinking a lot lately about answered prayers.  Sometimes I lose track of how that works.  I get on my knees and tell God what I would like and sometimes get pretty specific as to how and what He should grant me. Like I have even the slightest idea what is best for me.

If I boil my prayers down to the lowest common denominator, they all center on the acquisition of happiness.  Too often though, I have a preconceived notion as to what it is that will bring happiness about.  This past year has taught me that my preconceived notions are mostly ill conceived notions and that while the answers I got were not the ones I wanted, they most certainly were the ones that would produce the most happiness.  What God sees as fit for me and my happiness are seldom the same things I have envisioned.

Reading through my journal from early last Summer I encountered an entry in which I mentioned having prayed earnestly for the opportunity to be of service to the Lord.  Shortly thereafter, I lost my job.  I didn't see the connection then, but looking back I see that my prayer was answered and I was afforded abundant time with which to render the service I sought to offer.  I have relished that time and the resulting opportunities to express my gratitude in the care and (hopefully) blessing of others.  Later, when I wasn't even looking, God provided a way for me to supplement my income such that we have since had sufficient for our needs.  This blessed means was also an opportunity to render service and was on which left my opportunities to serve enhanced, rather than hindered.

Would I like to be more financially free?  Of course.  Would that make me happier than the blessings I did get?  I doubt it.

We talked of service in our Priesthood Quorum on Sunday.  It was such a blessing to rub shoulders with such wonderful servants of the Lord.  Each has found joy in serving those around them and by extension in serving God.  I led the discussion but their testimonies and examples made the lesson.  At the end I felt to bear my testimony.  I told them that I wasn't too sure I was all that good a servant or that I really knew all that much about service.  The one thing I could tell them that I was certain of is this:  When I am on the Lord's errand, I know, without doubt, that I will be given the resources necessary to accomplish the task.  Be those resources spiritual or physical, they will be given abundantly as necessary.  It was then that I realized that I have no such confidence when I comes to the pursuit of my own agenda.

Doesn't it follow then, that if I am constantly about the Lord's business instead of my own, I will always have sufficient for my needs?  Of course it does.  That settled it for me.  From now on I'm going to quit worrying about my own needs and focus on serving the Lord with full purpose of heart.  I have every confidence that if I am doing so, I will be given all that I require to sustain me in that effort.

What a relief!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Touched by the Finger of the Lord

I have long felt the need to have the Lord put forth His finger and touch my efforts that they might shine.  Even my very best my efforts, when left to themselves, are as inert as were the stones the Brother of Jared brought before the Lord seeking to have them give light in their vessels. Clearly, those stones did not shine until they were touched by the Lord.  I have not altered that notion. I and all I do are completely useless without the attending power and grace of God.

Yesterday, as I was on an errand for the Lord, I said a prayer to that effect.  "Would Thou, on account of my weakness before Thee, please put forth Thy finger and give power to my work that it might be satisfactory to Thy purposes?"  The Spirit whispered an interesting response.  "I already have.  I have given you the Priesthood, which is my power.  Exercise it righteously and you have all the power you need."

I will continue to pray for the grace and influence of God in all I do; but with the realization that such a prayer is an acknowledgement of my need for such grace, accompanied by the assurance that, if I am serving worthily, my plea has already been abundantly granted.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Movie Review - Babe

I get a fair amount of gas about this, but I still don't hesitate to say that this, yes this little movie, is my most favorite of all time.  There are lots of reasons:

  • It's message is profound
  • It's cinematography is superb
  • It's story is delightful
  • It's characters are wonderful and yes, believable
  • It inspires and uplifts me every single time I watch it.
  • It is rated G for all audiences
  • This little movie is simply transcendent!
There aren't many films that I would bother watching a second time.  Most movies out there are hard to justify watching once, but this one I have eagerly viewed over and over.  I just enjoyed it again this morning.  And, I came away more inspired by it than ever.  

There is a loftiness, simplicity, courage and humility in this story's ideals that speaks volumes to me.  Most of us never face heroic Everest-like conquests.  Ours are more of a more ordinary, unseen nature.  Ours are more like those of farmer Hoggett, masterfully played by James Cromwell.  Or like those of Babe, the pig, himself.  We all have conflicts like Rex, the dog, and fears and prejudices like Ma the Sheep.  How good it would be if we were courageous, honest nurturers of others like that sweet,  unassuming dog, Fly.  Some of us wish to be what we are not like Ferdinand the Duck and confuse that with being congruent with our potential and value like Babe who, while breaking the mold, was indeed true to himself.  Oh, that more of us were like Farmer Hoggett and would follow our hearts and trust our instincts.

Babe's triumph is cheered by friend and foe because he has brought them all along with him.  His triumph becomes our triumph and liberates us from fear, doubt, skepticism and the pigeon holes life likes to file us in.  Babe prevailed, not because he became a sheep dog, but rather, because he didn't.

Babe became a shepherd and inspired even the sheepherders to do the same.  He did it with love, respect, civility and politeness.  This, in a world that seems to have rejected each of those most priceless principles.  In today's environment, the occasional dose of Babe brings me back to my center and those precious things that matter most to me.



Five Stars!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...