Today was a terrific and inspiring day at church.
Our speakers were a young married couple with 2 kids- 13 and 11. The mom bore her testimony of listening to the Spirit of the Lord and making a life altering decision that turned their family completely inside out. It was a decision that was difficult to follow through on, but one that she knew was coming as a direct influence of the Lord. Her testimony of the effect of following the Spirit and how it improved their lives was astounding and profound. You could feel her struggle and her resulting joy through her tears and words. Not only she and her husband, but more so her children's lives, were made better by difinitive leaps. She taught us to lean to the Lord for His will and to follow His promptings more closely... even when those promptings seem unlikely or we are unsure of how those promptings will finish.
Her husband followed her with his talk, continuing the theme of listening to the Spirit and following the Lord's will in all we do. His emphasis seemed to teach me that practise makes perfect and it is only after acting on promptings will we come to see more clearly the hand of the Lord in our everyday life. He remarked about his personal history; times when he looked back and could clearly decipher those times when he took a leap of faith and those times when because he hesitated, he lost out on experiences that would have benefitted not himself, but those around him.
He also talked a bit about difficult times and two things he said I thought were, not only profound and simple, but are hugely true and as deep as you care to make them:
#1 "Always remember, you are better off than you think you are."
#2 "Hard is normal."
#1 We are better off than we think we are. If only we could remember those words when we begin to think egatively. In almost every aspect of our lives, we are truly better off than we percieve. Water for an example. We in the U.S. use it to swim in, to wash everything in, to play with, to drink, to bathe, even to decorate with! There are many people on this planet who barely have enough to drink, much less to use on their crops, and would never ever think to use it to fill a water balloon to throw at their little brother and his friends. Think of the ways we are better off mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, environmetally, yada yada yada than other people on the planet. We are better off than we think.
#2 Think of all the things in life that are much more meaningful because we had to work for them, or because they have come to us after much effort or trial or sacrifice. Children, jobs, our homes, a new car, education, wisdom, etc. Can anyone gain wisdom without trial and sacrifice? Also, it is a common mean that we must all have experience, and most of our beneficial experiences are due to hard or difficult circumstances. If we can remember that, perhaps we won't become too discouraged when we have new challenges to face. Hard is normal.