Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A True Story

This is a true story. I'm not just saying this because the video begins with "This is a true story..." It's because as I watched it, I saw and heard all the familiar patterns of life, adversity, disappointment, failure, faith, persistence, and an ongoing, flickering hope that was held onto long enough to bring about salvation, in God's own way and in His own time.

There are many great stories of people's conversion to God. But as Nephi says, that is really just the beginning. I have had a witness similar to the one described in this video. I do not want to disparage anyone who has not yet received it from seeking it, because it is every bit as real, powerful, and life changing as he says. But those of us who have received such a witness know that there are obligations which come with it, and a daily, continual bearing of the cross, or His yoke. Those who want to be free from all burdens and responsibilities will not last long on God's side - not that God will kick them out, but they will leave of themselves in search of something less demanding. I recall the sad words from the U2 song, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For:

I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
Bleed into one.
But yes, I'm still running.

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Of my shame, you know I believe it.

But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.

After wandering away from Him again and again ("prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love..."), hopefully we always feel our way back to Him. Because He is our Father, He lets us leave, and He does not remove the struggle to feel our way back to Him. He knows this is how we learn. And He welcomes us back like the father running out to embrace the returning prodigal.

Eventually, I pray that we will realize and understand - not with our minds but with our hearts and whole souls - that His yoke and His cross are a privilege to bear; that they are what join us to Him; that it is better to be a doorkeeper in the house of God, than to be king of all the world away from Him.