Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Look Up

"Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend" (Mosiah 4:9).

Why is it sometimes hard for us to look up and remember the One upon whom we rely most? Occasionally I get so busy coping in the moment that I neglect to call upon the divine assistance I need. I guess you could say I fail to see the Light. The following true story, taken from my own life, is one example:

Many years ago, I got into an elevator at my daughter's orthodontist. As the door closed, I realized there was no light. We would be making the ride in pitch blackness. (gulp) I was immediately uncomfortable, anxious, and a little bit claustrophobic. It was the slowest ride I've ever taken...and it happened to be in one of those old, creaky, groaning models that take forever and basically make you fear for your life. Believe me, I would have been open to anyone or anything that could have changed or improved my situation. Of course, the funniest (and most telling) part of the story is that when we got to our floor, and after I had finished complaining to my daughter about how much I didn't like the experience, she simply reached over my head, turned on the elevator's light switch, and said in a patient but long-suffering voice, "All you have to do is flip it on, Mom."

It had never even occurred to me that there was such an obvious solution! Like the followers of Moses who were beset by serpents, I had only to look up, but I did not. It was too easy, too simple an answer to a problem that appeared insurmountable (see 1 Nephi 17:41, Alma 37:46). The Psalmist tells us, "For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light" (Psalms 36:9). And we will see light, but we do need to look for its source––and sometimes, to exercise patience. Neal A. Maxwell said patience is "a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down in the cell of our circumstances." I certainly paced up and down in the cell of my elevator, and I want you to know it wasn't a bit helpful!

"Wonder and awe" is an appropriate response to life, because we are never alone in our trials, not ever. The Lord is always there to lead, guide and walk beside us, if we will let Him.

And all we have to do is look up.

"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:4).

Carl B. Cook has more to say on the subject, and he says it well.

20 comments:

anitamombanita said...

I loved loved loved Elder Cook's talk...and even more so since he is our neighbor! ;) ...and, of course, your take on it!

Caroline said...

Thank you for the reminder, Sue. I needed to hear this today.

:)

Becky said...

Beautiful, beautiful thoughts! And such a timely reminder. (I'm sure I would have loved Elder Cook's talk anyway, but the fact that he was our bishop 20 years ago, so that like Anita we actually know him, made it even more special.) Thanks for sharing your eloquence.

Lisalulu said...

beautifully said. and a great Wednesday Wisdom!

Brian Miller said...

wonder and awe is the appropriate response to life...and in the dark we so easily forget the light...

on a lighter note...they took two places off but deemed them non cancerous...yay!

jen said...

His was such a great visual. And it didn't hurt that the prophet was in the elevator either!

Grandma Honey said...

I hope to remember your elevator analogy to use in a YW lesson someday. Perfect!

btw, I've been wondering how your back is Sue? Are you getting better or is it still bothering you?

Sue said...

The back is almost well, Jill. Thanks for asking!

=)

Stacy Crawford said...

I have that same problem. I wish I'd kick that bad habit!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

really nice thoughts here.

karen said...

Ah, Sue - I think we were somewhat on the same wavelength today. Good reminder for me because I tend to panic and get frantic in times of trouble instead of remembering what I need to do. Relax, pray, have faith.

yaya said...

It's funny how certain talks will stick with you forever. I think I will never get into an elevator and not remember to "look up"...Thanks for a beautiful and spiritual post. I'm feeling very bogged down in my RS Pres. calling and many times I only seem to be looking down instead of getting down (on my knees)...

Karen Mortensen said...

Love this Sue. I love that talk about it at General Conference too.

Cherie said...

Oh boy I am guilty of this. I am a little headstrong and fiercely independent (although I am mellowing with age - thank goodness) and I have often forgotten to look up and learned lessons in hindsight.

Great reminder and very wise.

Mumsy's Place said...

I love the way the God can use our every day experiences to remind us of things and teach us things. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Hugs sweet Sue

Garden of Egan said...

I loved that talk by Elder Cook.

Your words were great. Such a good reminder.
EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Amy said...

I love your example of being in the elevator. How sweetly your daughter taught you. And it really is something we need to remember. Thank you.

Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

Love!

Karen Sue said...

Too many times we forget to switch on the help that is just there waiting!!

Farmer's Wyfe said...

Love your writing! :) Made me giggle, too. :)

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