Sometimes I wish I could figure out a way to photograph the sounds that go along with an image. This picture doesn’t look like much. I took it on my phone and didn’t try very hard make it awesome, because what was really capturing my attention was the sound of all the birds. So many birds! Each one singing its own morning wake up song. It was a beautiful cacophony!
I read this today in Alma 31, of the Book of Mormon.
“30 O Lord God, how long wilt thou suffer that such wickedness and infidelity shall be among this people? O Lord, wilt thou give me strength, that I may bear with mine infirmities. For I am infirm, and such wickedness among this people doth pain my soul. 31 O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the iniquity of this people. 32 O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me—yea, Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and also Amulek and Zeezrom, and also my two sons—yea, even all these wilt thou comfort, O Lord. Yea, wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ. 33 Wilt thou grant unto them that they may have strength, that they may bear their afflictions which shall come upon them because of the iniquities of this people.” https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/31?verse=30-33&lang=eng#p30
These verses show me just how far I am from being selfless. Alma and his friends have done missionary work in dangerous cities before. They KNOW they could be beaten, thrown into prison and starved, even killed, because they have experienced it in the past. Still, they are willing to sacrifice ALL human comforts in order that as many people as they can persuade to listen to their message will come unto Christ.
Sometimes when I think about the future, I think about serving a mission with Mr Hot Stuff, and I start to think about the circumstances under which I CAN’T serve. I end up talking at God, saying, “I really want to serve a mission one day, but I can’t in a place like this, and a place like that might cause me pain or hardship, so send me anywhere except those places.”
What hits me even harder are the times when God has asked me to serve right where I am, and things get challenging and maybe painful. I can remember actual times when I’ve said, “Heavenly Father, this is NOT what I signed up for.” Oy.
Contrast that with Alma and his friends who just pray to be able to deal with whatever trauma or pain that comes their way.
What a long way I have to go! I suppose, though, that in order to progress, we must first see our flaws before we can find a way to fix them. Growing pains!