Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Seek Light

Hey, world!

I was going to start off by talking about my inner nerd, but I feel like there's nothing "inner" about my nerd.  So I'll just say what I'm interested in and let you all judge me for being one.

Subject: light.  Possesses both wave- and particle-like qualities.  Spreads out and becomes a pretty rainbow, concentrates and becomes a deadly sci-fi weapon.  Emits heat, dispels darkness, bends, refracts, reflects, is visible and invisible, and can win a race against anyone.  Heck, if you were to run a race against light and tie, you would become denser and flatter in the process!

The most curious to me, though, is how it draws things to it.  Insects to those zappy things, bears to campfires, bums to beaches, whatever.  Light has that innate quality to attract, no doubt in part because it warms and provides clearer direction, but it also seems to radiate (no pun intended) with some inherent goodness.  All these qualities are shared by spiritual light as well.

(Bonus points to whoever can come up with a parallel to spiritual light and lasers and reports back to me.)

Too perfect.
All light comes from God, which is also where all goodness comes from.  His guidance through revelation is the fastest way to gain direction, it provides warmth and comfort to a broken heart, and that goodness and light inherently seem to draw people to it.  Both kinds of light are very important to me and both have made cool appearances in my life lately.

Like that one time I came into the kitchen to turn the light off and found a beam shining directly on my scriptures.  Or after a long day in the math lab, somehow being directed to walk upstairs to my professor's office, who normally isn't there then, and being able to get some guidance from him that helped me feel tons better that day.  The light--or the Light--drew me into where I needed to go.

So in any area of your life where you may feel darkness--sadness, despair, confusion--seek light.  Through good people, places, goals, activities, as long as they shed that God-given light.  Seek it through prayer, scripture study, and seeking God in general.  It's no coincidence that Joseph Smith said he "[remained] in darkness and confusion," before he "saw a pillar of light," (Joseph Smith History 1:12-17).  God's light is given to all, and it will illuminate our paths more the more we seek Him.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life," (John 8:12).

I love you all!

P.s. Here are some great videos on physical and spiritual light from people that have way more credence than I do!  Watch them!



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Small Reminders, Big Happiness

Hey, world!

Starting classes up again has made my brain feel like a nice delicious plate of scrambled eggs.  But you know what?  Life is great!  Things might seem hard (like remembering math... as a math major),  things might get stressful, and sometimes it's been easy to focus on that--the right then and there of a hard, stressful situation.  But the Lord has given me some great reminders this past week and a half!

I didn't take any pictures this week, but a guy with a fancy camera did!
1. Serving your fellow brothers and sisters will help you as much as you help others.  That's not to say we should serve out of motivation to help ourselves; that's a bit self-defeating.  Awkward.  But in essence, we are blessed as we try to be a blessing in others' lives.  In any low-grade moping I've done, I've noticed that it vanishes as soon as turn outward and try to find someone to help that day, and I've been able to feel more of God's love for me as I've focused on feeling His love for them.  Even though we shouldn't use serving others as a way to procrastinate doing the things we need to (guilty.), I've noticed that when my thoughts are not centered on myself, they're much more positive and uplifting than when I try to shut out everyone with my impregnable fortress of self-centeredness.  (Word?  It is now.)

2. God answers prayers, but a lot of the time, it's up to us to find the answer.  I've seen so many small (and big) miracles these past two weeks, but only after reviewing the things I've prayed for and the things that happened, or didn't happen, in the proceeding hours, days, whatever.  It's so easy to miss when we're not looking!
Example.  Before a folk dance workshop I was part of (9:00am-9:00pm.  That's 12 hours of dancing.  No big deal.), I felt prompted to pray to find someone to help that day.  So I did.  And forgot about it pretty much as soon as I started trying to remember how to dance.  (Which after 18 months of groove power-down was not pretty.)  As soon as I got to the audition, I talked to a girl who didn't know much of what was going on, and was able to help her out, not making the connection to my prayer earlier.  Until later that night.  But no sooner had I made that connection than I remembered how great it is to have a God that hears, cares about, and responds to us.  Prayer is an open, continuous line of communication, if we want it to be. Cry unto Him in times of need, but don't forget about Him in between (Alma 24:27).

                                                   3. Yeah, trials are hard.  But they're necessary.  To become who we want to be, we have to overcome trials that our "who we want to be" selves would be able to handle.  It's like spiritual weight lifting: we might be that scrawny white kid at the gym, but we have to start lifting if we ever hope to look like that fridge of a man in the corner!  The best way to tackle something (or someone... not that I would know...) is take it down head on, even though we feel like taking it at an angle might soften the impact.  Just go for it.  With all your momentum heading that direction, you'll make it there.  Just like Jacob in the Book of Mormon said,
Like so.  (Yeah, Cougs!)
"We have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path," (2 Nephi 10:20).
I challenge you to seek for God's hand in your life every day, because it's always there.  It's there in helping you find people to serve, in answering prayers, and in helping you through trials.  Show God your appreciation for His help by always remembering Him, not just when we need things or when times get hard.  Life is so much happier with Someone who knows what He's doing!  So get that happiness!