Monday, December 28, 2015

#77 "The Gifts Not Under a Tree"



Eish guys Merry Christmas. I wish you could all come one day to South Africa and play soccer with me in some remote township on the outskirts of Tsakane, on a dirt field with stick-goals with a bunch of sizulu kids. It's literally just like it looks in the movies. I'll try to attach some pictures.

Football


Anyways I've been thinking lots about spiritual stuff this Christmas for once which is a little weird, not thinking about skiing too much.(i guess it's easier without snow everywhere)

Perhaps the epitome of our mortal sojourn is acquiring the praise-worthy ability to understand our Heavenly Father. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

To understand God, we need to understand that His undergirding and overarching purpose is: 'To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.'

This Christmas season, I've thought a lot about gifts, and more about the gifts that God gives us;

"Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

But what about my wayward children? I didn't ask for that. But what about this financial crisis? Surely God could snap His fingers and fix that. What about this mental disorder? This work schedule? This overbearing bishop? This church member who has offended me? This companion? This area? This addiction? These teary nights? This broken heart?

There is a never-ending spectrum of issues we encounter in mortality; from gender confusion to political dilution.

From broken families to shattered dreams.

If God is the giver of good gifts, then how come he gives me stones instead of bread? Scorpions instead of eggs? Serpents instead of fish? I'm doing my best to be righteous and hold everything together.. Why does this happen?

What I've come to learn, is that God doesn't give us irrelevant gifts, if he wants us to cross a river, he doesn't give us a sick new car, he doesn't give us a pay-raise, he doesn't give us a plasma-t.v.; he gives us a bridge, or the ways and means to build a bridge. If he wants us to climb a mountain, he doesn't give us a boat. He gives us cramp-ons and boots and ropes and harnesses. If he wants me to cross the Sahara desert, he won't give me skis and thick socks. 

We pray for blessings, the literal definition of the word bless is: "To make sacred or holy".(v)

I have a testimony that God gives good gifts, sometimes we, with impunity, use our short-term mortal minds to turn a beautiful fluffy loaf of bread into a jagged, cold, disheartening stone.

Remember, when fierce winds bite at your heart,  it's a loving father giving us that wind to catch our sail. Giving us light to fill our countenance. He's giving us the gifts of eternity. He's giving us the gifts that will not ever corrupt or waste away. That's what a 'blessing is right? Something that makes you holier.

God gives us gifts that bring us back to Him, because isn't the greatest gift of all Eternal Life?

Not saying that he wants us to live in trevail and sorrow every day, not saying that he wants us to fake our imagination into thinking that bad things are actually good. He wants us to be happy, He also wants us back with Him someday. Hence the occasional wind. Salvation is a journey.

He gives us a camel to cross the desert.

May we, this new year, always have the carefully-focused eyes- to see that the stone is actually bread. That the snake is actually a fish.

Anyways I hope you all had a great Christmas, send me some pics of the snow asableif (please).

Happy new years Mhlekasis! Maybe your new-years resolution could be to write letters to Elder Clegg every week? lolol

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg



Note from the mom...loved Skyping Tanner on Christmas.  If you want to read Tanner's all time favorite talk and mine as well about the concept of "stones or bread", here is a link to a talk by Michael Wilcox.  It is worth the read.  If the link doesn't work, just look it up by the name of the talk.

Bread or Stones: Understanding the God WE Pray To


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