Like Rock Waterman and John Dehlin each struggling with their own fights today, one for his physical life and one for his LDS Church membership, I too have been fighting a battle in the deep recesses of my mind, where only the light of my faith in Jesus Christ shines through. I keep sane with a focus on my daily work, spending every moment in crunch time fiscal budgeting. I hope you will add your prayers and faith for both these pioneers in the LDS blogging world.
Carol and I spent a quiet day together yesterday, me in front of the computer trying to get my annual budget and strategic plan completed and Carol organizing our financial records with her new Neat scanner, giving Fujitsu’s ScanSnap some legitimate competition. I have bought dozens of the ScanSnaps over the years for my co-workers. The Neat scanner is a great home version of this venerable and essential tool of anybody trying to win in the uphill battle to go paperless.
We Are All Connected
I’ve been hesitant to share anything lately, cognizant of one reader’s caustic comments stating nobody wants to read the silly remarks of a stupid and boring old man. The Lord had other plans. I am filled with desire this early morning to sing the praises of good people who have come into my life over the years as friends, work associates, readers, fellow believers in Christ and yes, even those who have decided to hate me because I acted on a decision they found offensive.
I clicked a wrong button on LinkedIn and sent thousands of invitations out to people on my work and home email contacts going back ten or twelve years. I had not intended to do so but was so pleased when hundreds of people responded favorably, some writing they were surprised to hear from me after so many years, and delighted I would remember them. We are so interconnected even a casual contact in a business deal from ten years ago can have a great influence upon us.
There is Great Good in Everyone
You may be familiar with the saying, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” Evidence of such battles is all around us in news reports of young people taking their own lives in drug overdoses, or stories of people doing mean or stupid things in a selfish and thoughtless manner. We are all learning and maturing in this wonderful stage of our existence and bound to make mistakes or hang on to incorrect assumptions about life in general.
In spite of stupidity or ignorance the news media loves to point out, I continue to feel hopeful there is great good in everyone, even those who lash out in bitter words of hatred or bigoted actions of rejection, cutting off good people who want only to help others feel loved, accepted and not so alone in this lone and dreary world. Rejection is based on ignorance. We are saved no faster than we gain knowledge, especially knowledge of our Savior and His power to reach all.
In the Quiet Chambers of the Soul
My own battles with demons has taken on a new dimension lately. They are more open and blatant in their attacks on my efforts to be master of my own thoughts. They would have me believe we have no hope of ever achieving any such control. I know otherwise, perhaps with a knowledge brought from another world, perhaps by watching you as you express yourself either in writing or in courageous verbalizations of what you have learned and feel inspired to share.
When it gets to the point where conversations with those in the unseen world are no longer veiled or hidden at all, it either demonstrates extreme trust on the part of the Lord or you have become so used to their presence they feel no need to disguise their true intent. One must pass through hell before one can enter the presence of the angels. Who are the sentinels standing guard? Do flaming swords and fiery darts have more in common than we know? What a dreadful thought.
Führerprinzip and Loyalty in Heaven
For those who express private accusations of disloyalty, I ask you to consider the recent writings of my friend Log. What is loyalty and who alone is worthy of such devotion? Who comes to you with aid and comfort in your darkest hour, reminding of things said and done long ago, perhaps in another world, where we saw and knew one another without veil or darkness? Who picks you up with an impression, a thought, a vision or even the smallest of feelings that you can make it?
And who comes closest to emulating the power of such a being, whose influence is felt even in the darkest reaches of hell, if only by remembering and thinking upon his goodness? There are so many in our lives. Think upon your own angels. Where do you meet beings of light most often? For me, it is among the believers of Christ, who each in their own way share by example or by kindness they trust in the ultimate triumph of good over evil, in the face of obvious daily irony.
Valley of the Shadow of Death
In the end, we chose to believe in the power of an unseen being to save us. If your God has no such power, you may want to rethink your purpose in life. How can I turn away from a friend who stands by my side in the presence of death, who comforts and holds my shield in the face of onslaughts intended to destroy? He does not leave. He never departs. He is constant and true. I stand all amazed. He desires to spend time with me, when my company seems so dark and sad.
For those who have lost loved ones in recent days, for those whose hearts are broken in grief and pain, for those who have all but given up in despair of ever finding answers to questions so long-asked and tire of waiting for the fulfilment of long-held hope, I offer this: He lives. He abides with us still. He is real. He has the power to save from death and hell and the devil. Although I walk with devils and demons, there walks with me one who is filled with light to give me hope.
The Bringer of Peace and Hope
He is mighty to save. He teaches with kind and patient long-suffering. His love endureth forever. He is the bright and morning star, whose very presence dispels all thoughts of darkness. He is the bringer of hope and of salvation. He answers those who call upon him even in the bitterness of hell. For those who wait for Him in the hostile dark of the battlefield, he is there, always there, the bringer of peace. For those who have eyes to see, look. He has never left. In the end, all will kneel before Him.
He knows your battles. He stands at your side. He fights your battles for you. The victory has already been won. The enemy was defeated so many years ago. This is their last desperate hour as they attempt to deceive and cause you to believe otherwise. They have no real or lasting power. They know they must flee when He reveals Himself in glory. Who will abide the day of His coming? Who will stand in His presence? Those who gave Him their contrite spirits and broken hearts.