Hello everyone! It has been yet another wonderful week here in Hradec Králové! I have prepared for you a fun thought on obedience.
Obedience is interesting for me. Many sources in the world will tell you that obedience only confines our freedoms. They say to “just do it” and to live with no regard to what consequences will follow. Maybe in some cases that may be true, however, in the gospel, obedience does the exact opposite! It frees us by protecting us from the struggles and negative consequences that come when we disobey and make mistakes.
Today, I’d like to focus not just on obedience, but on exact obedience. To start off, I’d like to share a quote from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, which reads:
“Suppose you were to take off from an airport at the equator, intending to circumnavigate the globe, but your course was off by just one degree. By the time you returned to the same longitude, how far off course would you be? A few miles? A hundred miles? The answer might surprise you. An error of only one degree would put you almost 500 miles (800 km) off course, or one hour of flight for a jet.”
Likewise, the commandments of God are considerably more important to our lives and the eternities than arguably any flight. The choices we make in life, especially those relating to the commandments of God require precision. Becky Craven recently said in conference:
“If we are not careful in living our covenants with exactness, our casual efforts may eventually lead us into forbidden paths or to join with those who have already entered the great and spacious building.”
This council is crucial. Little slips, little rationalizations can trap us in all kinds of misery and pain in our lives. Of course there are the classics, such as “one little smoke won’t hurt” or “one sip of that alcohol won’t be a problem”, but what about the other even smaller details in our lives? Are we considering those? I’m not perfect, in fact, I’m sharing this with you this week because of something I’m facing, and all because of a little mistake!
You could say I’m a pretty healthy kid. Besides the random trips to the ER growing up, I did pretty good with staying in working order. However, on my mission, I’ve been dealing with a fair amount of back pain. After a number of visits to different doctors and figuring out the nature of the problem, I was sent in for physical therapy to try to help my back heal. After I arrived for the first appointment, we did a few tests to try to find the cause of my pain. I was so excited to finally be getting somewhere with it all and to hopefully be coming to an end of the pain. I thought they would explain some complex condition stemming from all sorts of strange and remote sources. After all, the body is decently complex thing.
Then we did the first test. I didn’t know to be scared or happy when the physical therapist seemed to notice something almost immediately. We then repeated the first test, and then explained how all the trouble was coming from the way I walk. And due to how much we walk as missionaries, I started to see the consequences. Luckily, it apparently doesn’t take too long to fix the way I walk and it has not and will not stop me from my work here. But to think that a little mistake, repeated with every step for 20 years, could cause this pain and doctor visits, just put me in awe. Our lives are made of all kinds of steps. Some literal, and others only metaphorical, but each have so much importance! We have to be so very careful with how we live our lives, those habits that seem small and harmless now, will not stay small if we don’t take the time to control them. Anything, regardless of size, becomes monumental when you’ve accumulated a few million of them. So take the time now. Re-teach yourself to walk exactly along the safe, love-filled, adventure-filled, and rewarding path of God. You got this! See you next week!