Recently, I 've had a particular imagery/scripture story stuck in my head. It's when the Lord guides the people of Israel in a cloud during the day, and by a pillar of fire at night (Exodus 13). Along with this, I've also thought of this scripture, "I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88)
Perhaps I'm waaaaay late to the party on this one, but I made some connections recently while studying. In my mind, I compared the journey of the people of Israel to our lives - easy enough to do. We are all "wandering" through the wilderness aka life on earth, working our way towards a "promised land" aka eternal life with our families and those we love. Then! I compared the way that Christ guided the people of Israel. First of all, He went BEFORE them, so He could show them the way. He was their only example. I've always known that Christ is our Exemplar - but maybe I never really pondered on the context of Him leading us and creating a path for us to follow. It even made me think of how we might follow the tracks of someone else in the snow. They do all the hard work, and if we want things to go well for us, we follow directly in those tracks as closely as possible.
I also pondered about the people of Israel not being able to actually see Christ as they followed Him. Similarly, I can't see Christ with my own eyes.
It can be so easy to try and navigate our course through this life-y wilderness according to what we think might be best. "Oh hey - I REALLY don't think I want to walk up that giant hill." or "Couldn't we maybe detour to some shade? Or water?" or "There has to be an easier way."
Lately, I've been trying so hard to find a meaningful route for my life. I see limitless opportunities sprawled before me. I want to take the path that leads me to the best job, making the most money, gets me married, etc. etc. and I mistakenly think I have a good idea of how to get there. However! The only clear and reliable path is to follow the Savior. And to do it in a more literal and meaningful way then tritely saying that I am trying to be like Jesus.
So! While I do not see him face to face or walk with Him on a daily basis, I have decided that the best way for me to more literally follow my Savior is to sincerely be more like He is. And the only way to do that is to study Him more, and implement a "what would Jesus do" type mentality - not just based on supposition but on the facts of how He lived His life and interacted with others. That even meant last night when I came home from work after a long day and saw that the dish washer still hadn't been unloaded (even though I had loaded it!!! and unloaded it!!! like every day for weeks!! #dramatic), instead of running through the house screaming at the inhumanity of it all, I decided to put away the dishes. So that was kind of ok. But then I thought, "Would Jesus be putting away the dishes passive aggressively or tallying in his mind all the times he did the dishes against how many times His roommates did the dishes?" and I thought, "no, no He would not."
I'm glad that in studying more about the life of the Savior, little by little I am able to become more like Him. It will be the journey of a lifetime, and I could not be more grateful that He will be with me through it all.
Love you too much -
PS - A lot of these thoughts started after listening to this talk - https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-devotionals/2017/01/prophets-leadership-and-divine-law?lang=eng :)
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