Friday, September 25, 2015

Progression and Patience

Have you ever been cruising along in life and all of a sudden you start having this internal, personal struggle with something that you haven't ever really struggled with before? Well, I hadn't...until now. There have always been the ups and downs of life. There are the constant things that come around (work, dating, etc.) but all of a sudden, something that has been so easy all my life has become this giant stumbling block. And I don't really know what to do about it.

A few weeks ago, I was attending church with my family and the speaker asked this question, "You may be righteous, but are you progressing?" That really stuck with me and has been on my mind. I feel like for the most part I make pretty good choices in life. I try to be obedient and do the things Heavenly Father would want me to do. But, am I doing them in a way that will move me forward in an eternal sense? Where do my actions fall on the good, better, best scale?

I was contemplating this while scanning Facebook the other day and a friend had shared this wonderful quote from Elder Richard G. Scott and it hit me like a ton of bricks:

Ok... apparently I am ready to grow. So what? I had my scriptures sitting on my lap, but I just wasn't in the mood/mindset to open them up. (Does that make me a bad person?) I started thumbing through all the notes and handouts I have kept in the front cover and found one that simply said, "Patience, Neal A. Maxwell 1979" Turns out (with some help from Google) that it is a talk he gave at BYU in 1979. As I read through this talk several different parts stuck out to me.

"Patience is not indifference. Actually, it means caring very much but being willing, nevertheless, to submit to the Lord and to what the scriptures call the 'process of time.'" 

"Patience permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord when we are tossed about by suffering as if by surf. When the undertow grasps us we will realize that even as we tumble we are somehow being carried forward; we are actually being helped even as we cry for help."

"Patience is always involved in the spiritual chemistry of the soul, not only when we try to turn the trials and tribulations into joy and growth, but also when we use it to build upon the seemingly ordinary experiences to bring about happy and spiritual outcomes."

But the one that struck me the most was, "Sometimes that which we are doing is correct enough but simply needs to be persisted in patiently, not for a minute or a moment, but sometimes for years."

I don't know why this problem is my problem right now. But, maybe that's not the point. Maybe the point isn't why, but how. How well will I deal, patiently, with this trial? How can I cling to the Lord as I am tossed about? How can I turn this trial and tribulation into joy and growth? How can I patiently (not indifferently) use this trial to progress?