Picture: Walden Pond in Autumn.
As with many people, the stresses and worries of trying times has tested my resolve. And recently. Since my life is pretty much perfect in every way, I tend to blow business problems (eg slow sales) way out of proportion. But there is an undercurrent of peace that I've found. It's possible to have peace inside. There is an Almighty God. It's the peace of David:
32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him [Goliath]; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.
--I Kings 17
I'm not saying I'm a "King David". And besides, he showed up with five rocks, not one. He didn't know how it was going to end.
Picture: Thoreau's modest home on Walden Pond.
I'm getting somewhere here. In these troubling times, I found some solace and guidance in this following talk by the Apostle L. Tom Perry.
Those of us who have been around a while—and Elder Wirthlin and I have been around for a long time—have recognized certain patterns in life’s test. There are cycles of good and bad times, ups and downs, periods of joy and sadness, and times of plenty as well as scarcity. When our lives turn in an unanticipated and undesirable direction, sometimes we experience stress and anxiety. One of the challenges of this mortal experience is to not allow the stresses and strains of life to get the better of us—to endure the varied seasons of life while remaining positive, even optimistic. Perhaps when difficulties and challenges strike, we should have these hopeful words of Robert Browning etched in our minds: “The best is yet to be”
As a side note, I actually met L. Tom Perry at the MTC in 1990. He's a mighty mountain of a man, and his hand is like a giant meat-paw, and his laugh is like rolling thunder. Presence.
A few comments about the talk: turns out that if Thoreau tried to do this nowadays (ie build a modest shelter to live in) the City would show up in short order to assess property taxes and/or to order him to tear it down for not being up to code and having the mountain of permits needed.
A man's not allowed to live anymore. I found this out talking to my friend Greg M. who helps developers get straight with zoning etc.
Also, I'm not sure how this works with a wife and four kids. A la my yurt idea from a few weeks back. Then again, the point of the talk isn't *go out and live in a hut* but rather live more frugally. There's a season to pull back.
And I'm like "Those were the FAT years" ?!?!? Well, crap, because I had to work my butt off just to stay afloat. Well, if troubled times are ahead, I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a wild ride.
As usual, I make my disclaimer: I don't mean to be preachy (quoting bible passage is so irritating!) or to suggest that I'm better than the common man. Believe me, Ihave my share of faults and struggles. My only hope is that someone, even one person, is encouraged or uplifted. I get an email now and again that keeps me going, so thanks for those.