Well, I've had some time to reflect this past week. Seems that I've been flat in bed for days with another one of those blasted kidney infections I've come to know so well throughout my life. This one has left me without energy and in a good deal of pain. Can't remember when I've ever gone four days without a shower before, even when I went through chemo....
I can see I've been taking a lot for granted. And I am humbled. At home, when the symptoms rear their ugly heads, I've had great doctors who hand over powerful medication, give me a couple of miracle working shots, and send me on my way. Often, I hardly miss a beat. The medications take over and I go back to work. Not so, here. For a variety of reasons, those powerful drugs aren't available to me. I've seen some good doctors and I am on medication, but it isn't as strong and it isn't working very fast. I'm learning patience. I'm also learning to take a little better care of myself. I've had to slow down and re-prioritize, which isn't all bad. Just frustrating.
We are so fortunate to live in this day and age. We take so many things for granted - like good health. My own grandfather died at the age of 26 when his appendix ruptured and they hadn't invented antibiotics yet. (Penicillin was first used by Allied forces during World War II.) How many of us would still be here without the intervention of antibiotics, surgeries, and other health care practices originated during the 20th Century?
In the book Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, when Wilbur the pig discovers that he's about to become bacon, his new spider friend, Charlotte, thinks up a way to rescue him. Through a series of descriptive webs that she weaves, Wilbur's life is spared. "Some pig," "Terrific," and "Radiant" webs gain Wilbur some notoriety, but the last web Charlotte weaves spells out "Humble." That's the word I've been thinking about this week. Humble.
Hum-ble: marked by meekness of modesty in behavior,
attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful; showing
deferential or submissive respect.
I'm humbled when I remember that life is fragile.
I'm humbled to know that the Visitors' Centre has been running just fine
without me this week. We have awesome missionaries at the London
Temple Visitors' Centre! (Next week Don's going to write about
some of the things we've been doing lately.)
I'm humbled when I remember that I still have a lot to learn.
I'm humbled by a good husband, good family, and good friends.
I'm humbled to think that despite all the problems in the world there is
still love and light if we look for it.
I'm humble and grateful to know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and He
loved me enough to die for me.
I'm humbled when I read the scriptures and gain purpose and direction.
I'm humbled when the Spirit of the Holy Ghost witnesses truth.
I'm humbled that I can repent when I make mistakes.
I'm humbled by my blessings.
But most of all, I'm humbled by the knowledge that there is a God who's
in charge of everything. He lets us use our own will and agency to
learn, grow, stumble, fall, and pick ourselves up again, but in the
end, He makes the final decisions. He knows what's best and I love
Him and I will trust Him. He can make it all work out best for us
when we are humble enough to put ourselves in His hands.
Being on a mission is an incredible blessing. We feel the Lord's guidance and direction often as we serve. We watch how He blesses those who are humble enough to put themselves aside and gain a witness that the gospel is true. We have witnessed absolute miracles in our own lives and in the lives of missionaries and members. It is a privilege to have this magnificent opportunity here in England.
Missions mirror real life, though. There are days that just don't go well. Not everything works out the way we'd hope. When we're writing our blog, we generally look back and see the successes, the love, the joy, the fun, and the good stuff, but it isn't always that way. Days are long and busy. Nights are short. We worry about challenges our kids and grandkids are facing. We worry about our missionaries, the Visitors' Centre, and what more we can do to reach out to those in the world who are searching for answers to their problems and catastrophes.
I guess that's where humility comes in -- humility marked by "meekness of spirit, showing differential or submissive respect to the will of God." Not that we are to wait around for God to do everything. We have the responsibility to do all in our power and make the best choices we can -- but, after all we can do, after every plan we make and carry out, we have to humble ourselves enough to accept God's plan. Anything other than that will do us no good. It may work for us for awhile, but not permanently. I'm learning humility and patience this week. It's a lesson we get to learn and relearn in life. ~Pat~