"There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah"
2 Nephi 2:8 (The Book of Mormon)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Glories Yet Unseen

My 15 year old son hiked Havasupai this week with his scout troop.  Between Thursday and Saturday they treked about 25 miles in and out of the steep cliffs of the Grand Canyon.  They carried everything they would need to sustain life on their backs  Needless to say, it was both physically and mentally, grueling and exhausting. My heart has been deeply touched by some of the life lessons he gained and has shared with me.  I want to share one with you.

The morning after hiking the 10 miles to their camp, they set out on another 1 and 1/2 mile trek to some cliffs set between 60 and 75 feet above a deep pool of water.  Anticipating the thrill of the jump made the climb to the top seem worth while.  My son first took the 60 foot cliff.  He said that once he got to the ledge, he just ran and leaped... knowing that if he stopped to take counsel from his fears... he may talk himself out of this amazing opportunity.  He screamed with delight as the small pool beneath him became larger and larger until body pierced the deep blue water.  Once under, a large water fall propelled his body to the shore.  It was thrilling... the experience of a life time!!!  He set out, again and again, climbing the cliff and jumping... gradually working his way up to the highest ledge.  Several jumps in, he came upon a man in his 30's who was standing on a ledge, debating with himself.  Can't you just imagine his thought process?  "Should I or shouldn't I?  This looks way higher than I thought. I know I'll regret it if I don't... but seriously... is this a good idea?"  Isn't it funny how life experience has a way of doing this to us???  He asked my boy how old he was.  Upon his reply, the man said, "If you can do it and you are only 15... I can do this!  Will you just show me one more time how and where to jump?"  My son graciously obliged (ha ha) and took yet another flying leap off the cliff, having the time of his life!

As he related this experience to my husband and I, joy and delight seemed to exude from the innermost place in his soul.  My husband wisely asked, "Why do 99% of the work?  You've got to finish what you start.  When you fail to complete that last 1% you miss the reward of your labor."

The time to assess whether you will or won't is before you've carried a 35 pound pack down into the canyon and then climbed the cliff and arrived at the ledge.  Seriously... I don't think that's a journey I feel the need to take in my life :) ... but why do it only to fail to complete that last step?

In Luke 14:26-33, the Savior illustrates for us the level of devotion necessary to be His disciple. 
26- If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Our devotion to the Savior must be first and foremost... second to none!
27- And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Following the Savior comes with a cross that is at times burdensome and painful to bear!
28- For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29- Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30- Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish...
...33- So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Whether you walk through this life committed to the Savior or not, you will experience trial, difficulty and pain.  The question you must ask yourself is,  "Do I want to travel this road with divine help and assistance or not?"  The cross we bear as disciples of Christ, sometimes feels heavy and burdensome... but in reality... the cross is what sustains us.  There are others on this path who can show us the way and provide encouragement.  With Christ, we climb and reclimb the cliff...arriving again and again at that uncomfortable point where it's time to leave our sure footing behind.  As we  take that leap, our experience, faith and vision become expanded.  We experience His majesty and the joy which can only come through Him.

Walking with the Savior is not easy... but it is so very worth it!  Now is the time to: count the cost... make the commitment and endure to the end... cheerfully relying on His merits to get you through.  He will take you to heights you have yet to dream of!

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
2 Corinthians 4:17

1 comment:

  1. That's Jake, alright. Mr. Fearless. I'm glad he had that opportunity. Tell him congrats from his favorite English teacher. :D