Patience, Faith and Desire through Transitions
I heard a story at church last Sunday that was particularly for me! The speaker shared how when he had only 6 months left on his mission he couldn't stop thinking about and wanting to go home. He wanted to be a committed missionary, but the thoughts of home just haunted him every day. He finally talked to his mission president about it and got some great advice, "Study the life of the Savior." So, this man immersed himself in reading Jesus the Christ and the New Testament. He said it was amazing the change that came over him. Whenever a thought about home came into his mind, instantly something from what he'd read the morning before would overpower the thought of home.
I feel like I'm there right now. I'm not on a mission and not "going home," but with the transition of moving, my mind definitely gravitates to my new home, our new adventure, more often then I might like. I want to leave where I am better than I found it. I want to leave feeling like I did all I possibly could before I was "done." I want to minister to those over whom I have stewardship and strengthen the relationships I have made here. And yet, my heart yearns to move on as well. It's like I'm living in two places at once. It's been so hard to be patient with this process.
Elder Oaks once gave a beautiful talk on Desire. He said, "Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming."
He talks about how even our basic needs can be overcome by our righteous desires. For instance, our need for food can be overridden by our desire to fast. One boy's desire to achieve his scouting goal will give up a comfortable home to go on a campout. A general of an army can forgo sleep to protect those for whom he has charge.
I think of this in my own desire to fulfill all I'm meant to do here before moving on. A few weeks ago I actually did start a study on the Life of the Jesus Christ. This young man's talk was simply a gentle reminder for me to continue in that light. It doesn't matter where we are, only what we do with where we are. I want my desires to serve here to overpower my longing to be there.
In Enos we read, "And...after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I wil grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy Faith (Enos 1:12)." Of this Elder Oaks said, "Note the three essentials that preceded the promised blessing: desire, labor, and faith (emphasis added)."
So what do I need to do to ensure my desires are granted? First I need to desire, which I do. That desire needs to be lasting and not fleeting. Next, I need to labor. I need to immerse myself more in my calling, my friendships and my home here. And lastly, I need to have the faith that the Lord will grant unto me my desires. I'll do this by studying Christ's life, learning more of who He is and thus strengthening my faith in Him.
TRANSITIONS ARE HARD! And yet I think they are given to us for the very purpose of strengthening our faith and giving us an opportunity to question our desires. Patience is a virtue that comes through such transitions as well. Here's to my own stretching, growing and becoming!