Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Way

This entry is part of my
general conference application series.

The Way, by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge
Of the Seventy

I recently changed the route I take while I ride to work because I was getting bored with it. I was listening to conference, but was losing my motivation to push myself up a hill the last time I took the old route. I was tempted to simply downshift and take the exercise out of the ride, when I heard Elder Corbridge powerfully say:

Don’t think you can’t. We might think we can’t really follow [Christ] because the standard of His life is so astonishingly high as to seem unreachable. We might think it is too hard, too high, too much, beyond our capacity, at least for now. Don’t ever believe that.

Although I was struggling with a physical hill, the relation to my spiritual journey was too clear to mistake. I recalled the charge that Christ gave to "be ye therefore perfect" (Matt. 5:48), which sometimes seems quite hard. Luckily, Elder Corbridge continued: "While the standard of the Lord is the highest, don’t ever think it is only reachable by a select few who are most able."

As I pushed up the hill with renewed strength, the comparison between physical exertion and following Christ took an interesting turn. Elder Corbridge pointed out that "life's experience misleads us." Instead of this high achievement being reachable for the few strongest, as is the case with mortal endeavors, this is God's work, and we have the help of Christ. With His help, we can make it.

While the Lord’s invitation to follow Him is the highest of all, it is also achievable by everyone, not because we are able, but because He is, and because He can make us able too.

I love that as I try to follow Christ and be perfect, as He is perfect, that I have the help of the very person I'm trying so hard to be like.

For example, I was struggling up a steep hill, worn out and tired. But, after having my thoughts turned to the Lord and his help (through the words of Elder Corbridge's talk), I found that I had reached the peak unknowingly. Whereas I was tempted to give in to a temptation to take the easy way out, I found that as I turned to the Lord, my burden was made light, and I reached the top of the hill without noticing the trial.

After this small instantaneous practical application of the message I was then listening to, I found renewed strength as I pushed on to my final destination. I hope to, likewise, push on to the greatest destination with renewed strength, made possible because of Christ.

Life is hard, but life is simple. Get on the path and never, ever give up. You never give up. You just keep on going. You don’t quit, and you will make it.

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