Sometimes I want to ask the Savior, “Can’t I just take a peek at my customized curriculum? Can’t I just turn to Chapter three or page 491?
Yet, I know I don’t need to.
Because I have faith in Him.
And I trust Him.
I also know He’s got this. For you, me, heck everyone.
And that when I am figuratively driving the car, I need to let Him; even if I still ask frequently, “Are we there yet?”
It doesn’t mean, though, that our human self doesn’t doubt or fear from time-to-time.
While our spiritual self is the more positive and in fact hopeful one.
In a recent blog post God’s customized curriculum for you: Embrace and love it regardless, I wrote about how God has a customized curriculum for each one of us. I later received a comment about that post:
“This reminds me of a favorite CS Lewis Quote: ‘Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.'”
I love and believe this. What great imagery. We’re building a cottage, yet He knows we deserve a palace instead. I can totally see this, can’t you?
God does know our potential. He knows what we need. And He wants to bless us beyond anything that we could ever imagine. But we’ve got to talk to Him. And read His instruction. I mean, He’s clearly provided a way or means for us to navigate this life. But are we utilizing those resources?
What to Do
It’s been said, if you want to talk to God, pray, then listen. And if you want God to talk to you, read His scriptures, His words, then listen.
“Dependence on God can fade quickly when prayers are answered. And when the trouble lessens, so do the prayers,” said church leader Henry B. Eyring (2001, para. 7). Eyring tells us that we can’t just pray when times are tough. We need to pour out our hearts to Him always. And not just fast food prayers, but sincere and genuine ones’. And however long that prayer takes. “When God has commanded us to pray, He has used words like “pray unceasingly” and “pray always” and “mighty prayer,” says Eyring. He also believes we need to accept whatever comes. However God answers us. Even and especially if it is not what we prayed for.
Like the breast cancer diagnosis I received.
Or when I have been cheated on.
Or the brain tumor I had taken out last summer.
All these things, and others, have made me into who I am today. They are part of my customized curriculum.
And I am grateful for them even if they sometimes caused pain and anguish.
Yours might include the death of a loved one.
Loss of employment.
An addiction such as pornography.
But our trials can help create that palace C.S. Lewis alludes to.
So, too, can reading God’s words. Take, for instance, Proverbs 3:5-6:
5 ¶ Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (LDS.org, 2016)
What great counsel. Since we are spiritual beings, we need to talk to God, read His scriptures, and listen to know how best to get through this life. Yet, human beings, rather, “lean … unto thine own understanding.” Unfortunately, the latter can be a recipe for disaster.
It’s been said that every problem in life can be answered through the scriptures. I believe this. It has been true for me especially when I have been feasting opposed to having a baby toe in them.
“Obedience brings success; exact obedience brings miracles,” said another church leader, Russell M. Nelson (2013, para. 16). I don’t know about you, but blessings and miracles sound pretty good to me over any earthly or worldly thing. Yet, we have to earn them. They take work, action, plus faith.
All this He wants to give us. We’ve just got to take time to not only get to know Him, but become like Him. Dr. Kristin M. Oaks (2011) agrees, “Our responsibility is to become the best disciples of Christ we can become” (para. 11). Similarly, President Thomas S.
Monson, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, counsels:
I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives. (2016, para. 6).
So, I’m in. Sign-me up. No matter how difficult.
And as I do, let Him create that palace in place of my cottage.
After all, He’s got this.
How ’bout you?
Christianity Today. (2017). Christian history. Retrieved from http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/musiciansartistsandwriters/cs-lewis.html
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Eyring, H. B. (2013, October). Retrieved from https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2001/10/prayer?lang=eng
Farmington UT West Stake. (2016, February 16). Retrieved from http://farmingtonutweststakeprovidentliving.blogspot.com/2016/02/tip-of-day-exact-obedience-brings.html
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Holman, M. (2013, September 9). Church News. Retrieved from https://www.lds.org/church/news/what-will-you-choose-elder-nelson-asks-young-adults?lang=eng
Jones, M. & Williams, L. (2016, February 12). 22 quotes from LDS leaders about dating and marraige. Retrieved from http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3589/0/22-quotes-from-LDS-leaders-about-dating-and-marriage.html
LDS.org. (2016). Henry B. Eyring. Retrieved from https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/what-are-prophets/bio/henry-b-eyring?lang=eng
LDS.org. (2016). President Monson: Service brings joy. Retrieved from https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/service-brings-joy?lang=eng
LDS.org. (2016). The Proverbs. Retrieved from https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/prov/3.5-6?lang=eng
Mormon Spiritual Gifts (n.d.). Develop your spiritual gifts. Retrieved from http://www.mormonspiritualgifts.com/?cat=22
Oaks, Kristen, M. (2011, September 11). To the singles of the church. Retrieved from https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/ces-devotionals/2011-09-to-the-singles-of-the-church?lang=eng