January 11, 2010

Thanks be to God

It was on this blog that I got into some hot water with my father's family, and hopefully the parties involved haven't written me off completely and still check this from time to time, because today they will be proven right.  I won't get into the details of the argument, but the one portion that was uttered to which I'm referring basically told me "it is good for you to struggle."  On that note, you couldn't have been more right.

I've struggled a lot over the past six-seven years.  I'm going to go ahead with the figure that just about, oh, say...100% of it was due to me thinking that the world, or someone, or a few someones owed me something.  You would think that going along in life with that attitude, it wouldn't take as long as six-seven years to find out the flaw in your train of thought.  Trouble is, though, being without a father in life, the Lord made darn sure that we were always taken care of, and I mistook that for the way things should always be - whether or not I was a good little boy.

Without giving you a complete history of our finances or my selfishness, let it suffice to say that for a while there we were on the government payroll.  Let it also suffice to say that I was more than fine with this.  We didn't make out like bandits, but we were able to get by more than comfortably.
Now, if you haven't noticed that I'm somewhat political in my thoughts and actions, you must be a first time reader here.  It was around 3 years ago when I started getting really politicized, and was really turned on to conservatism in politics.  However, I had the glaring problem of hypocrisy staring me in the face...how does one excoriate the very program that benefits him?
Things picked up for us for a while, and we were "able" to stand on our own feet again, so we did...for a while.  If you also don't know that I'm somewhat of an eternal student, thank you for not stalking me.  So, school was fast approaching, and the bills are ever-steady, what was I to do?  Well, if you don't already know that I'm stubborn...who are you, and why are you stalking me?  I decreed that my family would never be wardens of the state again!

Now, for the good meat and potatoes.  In March of this year I read a talk by Marion G. Romney called "The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance."  I recommend you read both of those links, but really the first one is because I like to hear myself talk, so naturally you do too, right?  Anyway, this talk helped me realize that I had about the right idea, but I was going about it the wrong way, which is quite easily disrupted by You-Know-Who (hint, it's not Voldemort).  I'm here today to testify that that talk couldn't be more appropriately named!
I would have to say that this last year has been one of the hardest for me, because (I think) the natural man in me has fought the hardest to give up.  It's too hard.  There's an easier way, and the framework is already in place.  What I haven't really been able to empathize with (until now........and, since I'm human, probably again in the future) is that the path of self reliance doesn't put me on a high horse to sneer at the government for stealing your money and mine, it's a path that teaches me to rely SOLELY upon the giver of life, my Savior Jesus Christ.  And today the Holy Ghost just about thunked me on the head with a mallet and shouted "THAT'S THE 'CELESTIAL' PART, JIM!"

Yes, it is good for us to struggle.  It is better for us to turn to God for care and guidance than to trust in our own might.  I have learned more about my self and more about God's love for me while I felt that I was in the depths than I ever could have felt while coasting along on the "blessings" of man.  I feel closer to God right now, after passing through a great storm in my life, than I ever could have under the concrete bunker that man built to hide from it.  I desire that if you don't know it already, you should know it too.

Lastly, I didn't want this to turn into politics, but I don't think it really is.  I just want to bring this up because it fits.  It's an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence, emphasis added, something that we all need to remember:  "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."  Whatever is coming, remember - remember where our rights come from.

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