The problem with slugs is not that they are slow, but they leave a white silver line in the way after they are gone. But, I like that line! It’s a sign that the slug was there! It means it moved, it went about doing its important work! It lived and fulfilled its purpose!!
I have come to the close of my journey with developing charity in my life in 2016. December’s focus was on “charity endureth all things.” ALL THINGS – the good, the bad, the very good and the very very bad can be endured and I had endured not all pleasantly, but nonetheless I endured well for the most part.
I am so grateful so thankful I took on this challenge to build a charitable heart and life. If you asked me if this process had changed me, I will say that it partly changed me because I still have a long way to change to be like Christ – HE IS CHARITY. What I opened my eyes to during this process are that I was not learning about charity, but I was learning about Jesus Christ! It takes heck a looooooot to be like Him. The standards are always so high when it comes to Him and rightly so; He is the pattern, the example, the ideal, the STANDARD I must measure up to. I can rewrite that scripture verse I focused on this year in this way:
Moroni 7 (The Book of Mormon)
45 And Christ suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not His own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not Christ, ye are nothing, for Christ never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto Christ, who is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
47 But Christ is the pure love, and He endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of Him at the last day, it shall be well with him [emphasis added].
How I endured this month is nothing compared to how Jesus endured His trials – the betrayal, the ridicule, the unjust bullying, the undue whipping and lashing, the rude mockery, the bleeding from every pore, the crown of thorns on that sacred innocent head, being lonely, forsaken, the excruciating pain of crucifixion and His heart broken. His enduring nature in His trials allows me the opportunity to bear mine; it gives me purpose and courage.
This is the last week of 2016; it gets chilly in the morning. Man, it is sooooo warm under my two blankets; I didn’t want to get out to exercise, but I remembered my “endure to the end” challenge and so I courageously get out of bed and get going. It gets easier every day. I got out of my comfort zone and did the hard stuff. What would have happened if Jesus stayed in His comfort zone and refused to do the hard stuff that saves all mankind? I would have missed the opportunity to strengthen my body, improve my mind, and breath in new life had I remained under those warm comforters. I would have given up happiness and time alone on the beautiful sandy beach at the end of my exercise. I wouldn’t have climbed and conquered that beast of a hill that gave me happy pains not once, but many times this year.
So keeping up with my goals this year was also an enduring dance; in June I got a surprise! I was called to be the Relief Society President of my ward (congregation), a calling to watch over 125 women ages 18-118 for a few years; this new responsibility can be daunting when trying to accomplish other goals in life. The Lord saw that I was working on developing charity, so he added this calling to help me out for sure! I appreciate the challenge to juggle my new charge with everything else in life. Thank goodness I have two very reliable counselors (Salina and Paoa), an “Ammon” of a secretary (Camela) and a whole bunch of sisters/ladies who do their fair share of the work of Relief Society!
So, I finished reading the most difficult religious book I’ve ever read “Jesus The Christ”, I finished another study of the Book of Mormon, wrote and published children’s books on my native culture. Find the books here. I injured my knee in May, but I completed 240 miles this year; “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn. Eat healthy and exercise. I found that to be true. I’m not a fan of losing weight, but I am a member of eat, get out and get a healthy body. There’s no way around it; it’s a lifestyle. Small consistent steps to a healthy self pay dividends. Lastly, I am still in the process of my PhD application.
The greatest lesson I learned is that we can endure being kind, being hopeful, being long suffering, envieth not, thinking no evil, rejoicing in the truths; we can endure bearing all things, believing all things, and enduring ALL things! WE CAN BE LIKE THE SLUGS – DOERS NOT HEARERS ONLY. IT IS IN THE DOING THAT CHANGES OUR PERSPECTIVES, OUR BEHAVIOR, ATTITUDES AND HEARTS. IT IS IN THE DOING THAT LEAVES A LEGACY OF OUR EXISTENCE THAT WE WENT ABOUT DOING OUR MOST IMPORTANT WORK!
Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”; how true is that! All things are possible! I am here, the 366th day of 2016! I lived! I had a life! I learned! I struggled! I overcame! I prayed like heck and I received a heck of answers!! I was happy! I ate good and junk food! I met new people! I worked, got money, donated, gave, and gifted money! I got mad, angry, sad and glad. Most of all, I loved God and my fellowmen and showed that through service!
Thank you 2016 for all of the joy, the lessons, the struggles, the problems, the answers, the solutions, the noise, the silence, and the journey! This slug is ready for all that will come her way in 2017. This slug will go about doing and leaving a silver line in the way!