Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Faith in a Box - Revised

(If you read this post before this was inserted, you read version one. Rough draft. Part two is coming. See further explanation at the bottom.)

Sun is shining, not too hot, ear buds have me "jammin'" to speeches while I thin out the peaches and prune dead limbs. Today is a free day to work and sweat; catching up on a yard too long neglected in the pursuit of "spiritual gardens" and the delicate work of growing Daysies.

Translation: I'm harvesting weeds again this year.

My Inner Guide hasn't found it a priority to enroll me in Gardening 102 yet, so I'm learning to be content with the nudge He does send on days like today to review Gardening 101: weed removal and pruning.  It's a great program, trusting your Guide. Because you see, as I fill our newly emptied trash receptacles with my harvest of wild raspberry, morning glory, snake grass and other nameless, prickly "veggies" I find I feel satisfaction, not guilt. And I do love to be in the yard - it's a form of creation and well, humans love to create, right? Makes us feel like gods. :)

Something in a recording of a class I took last semester plays through my ear buds and gives me the itch to write. The peaches will have to wait for a moment.

First, the part of the recording:

(I had permission to record this class so I assume I can transcribe this portion and share it in this post, but I'll leave off the name of the instructor just in case I get his idea wrong or misrepresent what he said in my thoughts that follow).

[In Hebrews 11:1] Joseph Smith changed the word "substance" to "assurance" and that's what it is in the Greek as well. Faith is an assurance of things hoped for. So what is faith? It's an assurance. Where does the assurance come from? Through the Spirit. So what Paul is teaching here is that faith is the spiritual witness you receive of things hoped for.  It is evidence.  It isn't physical evidence, but spiritual evidence. . . Faith is choosing to believe in the spiritual assurances you've received. . . In the world we live in with empiricism and the scientific method, people will say that's not enough - you need scientific evidence. Even though the Holy Ghost has told you something is true, you drive forward with the insane pursuit for physical evidence of that truth. . .  The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead so your metaphysics has got to allow for spiritual realities.
Think for a minute about the spiritual assurances you've received in your life. I can't even imagine the intimate spiritual assurances you've received, but I bare my testimony that based on your faithfulness - your conformity to spiritual law, those assurances will be fulfilled and are as true as they possibly can be.  But what makes them hard to believe? The absence of physical evidence.  We have this assurance that "x" is going to happen, but all around us, "y" is happening and it just keeps happening! So we go, "What! There's no way God could be right!" You look up to the Heavens and shout, "You're wrong, what are you talking about?!? I'm here and this and this is happening, but that's not happening!" And we allow ourselves to have more faith in physical evidence, or the lack of it, than we do in spiritual evidence and spiritual assurances that we're receiving from the Holy Ghost.

I have mentioned a few times directly and indirectly the image that came to my mind one day (it was probably on the way home from this class, actually!). It has had powerful effect on my life.  I'm not sure that the image has as much power translated into a verbal description, so here's the non-artist-Kate rendition:

What's YOUR spiritual paradigm?? Because it makes a difference!  In fact, the more I ponder it, the more I think it makes ALL the difference in the world (and for that matter, out of this world.  

In connection with the transcription above, the person shouting at the heavens, seeing evidence of "y" all around them and having a hard time believing "x" is most likely in the first paradigm.  


The remaining part of this post I have removed and have rewritten.  It was one of those moments where you jump on the computer to capture something exciting and it flows out so quickly and you scan it over and it feels great so you push the magic button and poof!  You've shared something with the world that has helped you and now you hope it can be of service to others somehow - if they ever are nudged through the tangled massive world-wide-web to find it. How cool! 

Then you come back the next day and can't make heads or tails of it and aren't sure how anyone else can.  The thought is clearer in your mind then the black splotches you've arranged on "paper."  Yeah.  Delete.

So, since I know some of you get a little ding when I post (like my good brother John) because you've figured out how to do what I still haven't (subscribe? RSS?) and would probably appreciate a breather from the barrage of posts this month, I'm going to sit on it and make sure it's in it's final version before posting what will now be part 2.  :)

(I'll also pray you don't get a ding every time I press "update" - please someone confirm this!?! Yikes!)