I had the opportunity to go to Luray Caverns this past weekend in Luray, Virginia. Luray is about two hours from Washington D.C., and I highly recommend a stop there for anyone visiting or living near our nation’s capital.
As we were walking through the caverns, I was in awe of the beauty of the rock formations. However, what struck me even more than the beauty of the caverns, was the amount of time it took the rock formations to grow. The guide leading us through the caverns shared that the stalactites grow one cubic inch every 120 years. For the rest of the tour through the caverns, I reflected on this fact and the personal application it has to our lives.
Sometimes we expect change or growth in our lives to happen seemingly instantaneously. We want to be more charitable, more patient, more humble, more faithful, and we want all of these attributes right now. Or perhaps we want our life circumstances to change. We want a new job, a promotion, to get married, to have more children, to buy a bigger house, and we want these things to happen within the next year.
Yet I was reminded in the caverns that God has a plan and timetable for our growth, and that plan is perfect. When I learned the stalactites grow only one cubic inch every 120 years, I didn’t think to myself, “Seriously, it takes stalactites that long to grow an inch? That is pathetic.” Instead, I felt this great reverence and awe for what the rock formations could become through the course of time.
I think we all would be better off if we looked at our lives with this same awe and reverence. Instead of becoming disappointed when we fall short of meeting the goals we set for ourselves or attaining spiritual attributes we desire to possess, we should look to God and trust, that as we do our part, He will help us grow according to His perfect timetable.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell wrote: “The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing. If we can truly believe He has our welfare at heart, may we not let His plans unfold as He thinks best? The same is true with the second coming and with all those matters wherein our faith needs to include faith in the Lord’s timing for us personally, not just in His overall plans and purposes.”
I know this is a lesson the Lord desires for me to learn. As I’ve gone to Heavenly Father in prayer, I’ve been reminded that I can’t judge my life by a single day. Sometimes we don’t get to know what’s going to happen in the next month, year, five years, or tens years. We must trust that we are growing day by day and that our hearts are being prepared to receive the blessings God desires us to receive and to become the people that He desires us to become. Just like the stalactites, I am God's creation and will grow and develop in the timeframe He knows is best for me.
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