“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” — Gautama Buddha. I love that quote! It is really my prayer for everybody that we’ll all ‘discover’ and ‘give’. It is sound advice for all of mankind and I believe that each of us is born with that same inner purpose and hope.
As for me, I see God in this world; knowing His beautiful reality opens a precious part of our world to discover and give myself to. As grand and amazing as our world is in its magnitude and intricacy, it is only a small part of His creation. God, our creator, is so much ‘bigger’ than all that we observe around us and His purpose in our existence and living isn’t any smaller of a thing to Him. We aren’t just ‘part of’ creation, we are the entire purpose for it.
When we seek it, His purpose for us trickles down through our lives; we find the beautiful and difficult experiences of our lives enrich our understanding and empower us. As surely as Christ’s descent below all things further empowered Him, through the Gift of Christ, He helps us do the same. His power and guidance gives us beauty where we might have only seen ashes. We find ourselves capable to do a lot of different things and to lift others in ways that others may not readily recognize or be prepared to. Our unique divine nature pairs with our unique earthly experience to forge a powerful sense of purpose.
And speaking up – opening my mouth – and writing – is part of my purpose. God hasn’t filled me in as to what He hopes to accomplish in my sharing, but ‘downstream effects’ aren’t near as important to me as following His direction. That is where I find my joy. It is how He purifies who I am.
I grew up in a relatively small city and loved it there, it seemed big enough for every opportunity, but small enough to avoid a lot of big-city problems. I enjoyed everything that I got involved in. I enjoyed athletics, academics, computers, church and taking things apart; I eventually participated in ballroom dance, tennis, choir, and even a play. I still love all of those people that I spent time with and admire who they are. I treasure the amazing mentors I had who taught me lessons that I would hold onto and revisit throughout my life. I also had the opportunity to date my wife throughout High School.
I served an LDS mission to the England, Manchester mission and can now joke about working so hard I couldn’t see straight. I had my share of shortcomings and felt frequently as if I were desperately and barely holding on to the things that were expected of me. Despite the heavy feeling of inadequacy, my experience with God still grew and I experienced miracles; it seems that I was blessed to find many who were searching for God and many of those I did find benefited equally as much from the missionaries that followed. I am grateful for all of the people I met on my mission, though there are only a few that I keep on my heart. I still have dreams of going back and finding some of my precious friends and I really do experience a homesickness for England – everything about it to be truthful. They are fun people and among them, some of the best saints I have ever met.
I came home and married my sweetheart, having proposed the third day after I returned home. She is precious to me beyond my own expression. Our time together has grown me and changed me in ways that really help me understand how much that I need her and how incomplete I am without her.
I’ve had my share of trouble in life, but an even greater share of God’s goodness that now leaves me with very, very little to complain about in my life. It really has surprised me how formative this most recent part of my life has been – and I am grateful for that.
Lastly, I am grateful for some great friends who have unknowingly fulfilled some of the promises that God has given to me; thanks guys.