January 22, 2011

Epic Adventures

Preparation Day. Monday. P-Day. Day of Rest. However you look at it, Mondays are blessed days in the life of a missionary. As missionaries we devote all of our time and attention to serving the Lord, and in return, find no greater joy. However, it's nice to have 8 hours each Monday to take care of the necessary things. Such as shopping, cleaning, and dodge ball. Essentials.

When I was serving in Kalispell this past summer, Sister Ivie and I got a phone call saying that next P-Day we were going to take a little field trip. We would be heading to Big Fork to go hike Mt. Aeneas. We were so excited to embark on this adventure of all adventures. We traveled to the base of the mountain with 10 other missionaries where we would begin our climb. I was ready to prove to all of those Elders that I wasn't a wimpy girl; that I could climb a mountain with the best of them.
 But things didn't turn out as I had anticipated. It was a rather curvy road up to the base of the mountain, and sitting in the back of the Durango, I got a little car sick. But, stubborn as I am, I didn't let anyone know that I was about to pass out. We began to hike. Not even 5 minutes into the climb I had to sit down and eat something. I was beginning to black out. I felt like a total dork. Embarrassed, and with a little bit of wounded pride, I drank the last of my water bottle, and pushed through my discomfort. Praying with every step I was determined to make it to the top. I would finish this hike.

About half way up the mountain, the path began to get steeper and steeper. I was having to stop and rest far more often than I would have desired. My calves were on fire, and I could barely get enough air into my lungs. I missed the ease of breathing at sea level, which I was used to living in California. My irritation with myself was growing by the minute. Why couldn't I keep up with the others? I was dragging everyone else behind. The other missionaries were encouraging, and patient, but I was discouraged. However, I had come so far; I wasn't about to give up.

Finally, after a handful of stops and "breathers" a missionary asked to carry my backpack. I didn't give it up without a fight. "I can do it!!" I stubbornly yelled at him. But I couldn't do it. I couldn't carry the weight of the pack, and finish the hike. I needed help. Finally, I relented, and gave up the pack. Suddenly, the hike was a little easier and I found myself enjoying the crisp morning air a little more fully. What seems like ages later, we reached the top. We had made it. I had had a great deal of help along the way, but a way was made possible that I could finish.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ has made it possible for us all to finish our hike, our trek, our journey in this adventure called life. There will be times when the burden we carry will be to great, but a loving Heavenly Father has provided a Savior, who would carry those burdens for us.

When we came to this earth, we were all so anxious and willing to prove ourselves. Ready to prove that we were fighters, and we would fight for the cause of Christ. But unforeseen obstacles, roadblocks and challenges continue to get in the way. In this progression of life we each will have to stop and rest. The only way we will finish our course is by relying on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Christ has paid the price, and paved the path. There is no burden to heavy, no roadblock to great, no challenge to daunting. Christ loves us and lifts us perfectly back to our heavenly home above. I testify that as we rely on the healing power of the Atonement, we all can have our burdens lightened. We will enjoy the journey more fully as we accept the sacrifice of our sinless older brother, and align our will more fully with His. I testify that Christ lives. He loves us, and he will never leave us comfortless on the epic adventure called life.

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows...he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:4-5

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