Monday, July 13, 2009

Spiritual Ambiguities

I just returned home from a tender and terribly sad funeral. I didn't feel ready to jump back into home life when I walked in the door, and the kids happened to be engrossed in Nacho Libre. I know. I'm so glad that they were watching Nacho Libre instead of practicing or finishing their chores. Wouldn't you be?

But Nacho Libre gave me the chance to study a little, so thank you, Jared Hess and Jack Black.

I found myself eventually reading this amazing talk, Love is Not Blind, given by Bruce C. Hafen in 1979. Remarkable, and really moving to me. I will admit to having found myself at each of the levels of dealing with ambiguity that he lays out, and too often I have stuck at levels one or two. Level three is harder to achieve, and takes effort and faith to retain.

One passage that I loved:
If we are not willing to grapple with the frustration that comes from honestly and bravely facing the uncertainties we encounter, we may never develop the kind of spiritual maturity that is necessary for our ultimate preparations. It was Heber C. Kimball who once said that the Church has many close places through which it must yet pass and that those living on borrowed light will not be able to stand when those days come. Thus, we need to develop the capacity to form judgments of our own about the value of ideas, opportunities, or people who may come into our lives. We will not always have the security of knowing whether a certain idea is "Church approved," because new ideas do not always come along with little tags attached to them saying whether the Church has given them the stamp of approval. Whether in the form of music, books, friends, or opportunities to serve, there is much that is "lovely, . . . of good report, [and] praiseworthy" (Article of Faith 13) that is not the subject of detailed discussion in Church manuals or courses of instruction. Those who will not risk exposure to experiences of life that are not obviously related to some well-known Church work or program will, I believe, live less abundant and meaningful lives than the Lord intends. We must develop sufficient independence of judgment and maturity of perspective that we are prepared to handle the shafts and whirlwinds of adversity and contradiction that are so likely to come along in our lives. When those times come, we cannot be living on borrowed light. We should not be deceived by the clear-cut labels some may use to describe circumstances that are, in fact, not so clear. Our encounters with reality and disappointment are in fact vital stages in the development of our maturity and understanding.

Having a spiritual life in a world with so much pain, so much that is unfair, so much that is incomprehensible can be a daunting task, but I'm finding much more peace and joy through choosing faith than I ever do when I choose doubt. Actually, what I'm finding so interesting is how often faith and doubt reside in me at the same time, and how much I feel God understands this. In fact, I think He knows I need both to become the person He wants me to be.


Debbie and Boys said...

love the quote. It speaks to me in many ways...thanks for sharing.

KelsiK said...
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紅包 said...
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