I know . . . it has been a while since I’ve composed a blog post. I apologize. As with many of you, my life has been a blur for months. It seems to keep picking up speed, and I find myself hanging on for the ride. Sometimes by my fingertips, but I am hanging on.
I remember hearing a seminary or religion teacher in college (BYU-Idaho/Ricks) state that in the latter days, life will be so crazy we won’t have time to dwell on all of the negative things taking place all around us. In the words of my sons when they were quite young: “Are we there yet?”
I am trying to remember that despite all of the turmoil, tribulation, and trials (Yes, it is a time of the triple T’s) there are good things taking place, as well. I have tried to pause for a moment each day to appreciate the beauty that exists in our world. I love nature (as is evident from some of the pictures I share) and I know this world was created for us by a loving Father. I’m sure He hopes that during difficult times, we will take a moment to reflect on how much He loves us, and find peace in His creations.
Myself, I am drawn to water. I’m sure that is due in part to the fact that I grew up around bodies of water. For nearly 9 years we lived on a small acreage that was across the road from Snake River. There were times when I would sit on a large rock and watch as the water hurried on its way. I noticed even then that I experienced a sense of peace as I sat and reflected on what was taking place in my life at that time.
In Ashton, my beloved hometown—the place where I attended high school—made eternal friendships—and gained a testimony, I found another place of peace. It’s known to most people as Mesa Falls. It has changed through the years. A wooden walkway now keeps everyone safe. My mother would probably cringe to know that on difficult days during my teenhood, I would often sit on a rock next to where the water plunges down below and ponder life’s mysteries. It was one of my refuges from the storms of my life at that time. I would sometimes stick my hand in the water and feel the powerful current as it pushed forward, despite the obstacles in its path. It gave me hope.
Here in Bear Lake, there are several places where I can go fill my spiritual bucket when it is beyond empty. I think we all need places of refuge in our lives, especially when life hits the fan, so to speak. The mountains, the forest, & obviously: the lake, have all provided peace when I’ve needed it the most.
Also, I always feel peace inside the temple. It doesn’t matter which temple—we do have a selection these days. Inside that sacred sanctuary I can push the world aside with all of its worries and cares, and take time to ponder what really matters.
My home is also a sanctuary of sorts. I love it when I can find a moment or two to quietly reflect on the challenges currently taking place. I think private meditation is crucial these days. I keep a favorite triple combination close at hand for those occasions. The scriptures have always provided comfort during difficult times, as well as personal prayer. These items are lifelines on this journey in mortal mode.
I will also be eternally grateful for dear friends who kindly help me sort through the puzzles life throws our way on occasion. We were never meant to wander through this life alone. For someone like me who tends to live by the two-year-old adage: “Do it myself!” it is a humbling experience to realize that is not always the best thing.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is during these turbulent latter days, it is so important to take the time to fill our spiritual buckets. Life happens, and to borrow a quote I recently shared during a talk I had to give in church not long ago:
“The arrival of a typhoon is no time to dust off the gift of the Holy Ghost and figure out how to use it . . . We need the Holy Spirit as our guide in calm waters so His voice will be unmistakable to us in the fiercest storm.” (“Take the Holy Spirit as Your Guide,” by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, May 2018 Ensign—pg.76)
Fierce storms come. I’ve lived through several in my life—and this current year is no exception. When our hearts are shredded, it is a difficult thing to find peace—to find the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other as we make our way forward, past obstacles that often tear our hearts out. How grateful I am for the guidance that comes in many forms, and often from those around us who are walking a similar path.
The key is to never give up. Even on days when all seems lost. On those days especially, we need to hold on with everything we can as typhoon strength winds come into our lives. Eventually, those storms will pass and it is possible to pick up the pieces of our lives and continue on. It takes time, patience, and faith, but it can be done. And again, bless those who take the time to help when they see we are struggling. They are often the answer to our prayers, and instruments in the Lord’s hands when we need it most. And how wonderful it is, when we can return the favor.