Week 15Alma 13:27-28 - It's SO important not to procrastinate my repentance. I don't think I do a lot of hard-core sinning but I have many areas in my life where I can and should do better. In order to more fully be who I want and need to be and avoid the dumb cycles I tend to fall into (see last week's post), I need to be more "humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering" and need to more fully notice and appreciate the love of God in my life.
I need to especially work on being submissive, patient and full of long-suffering. I'm generally sort of fiesty, impatient, and somewhat determined to change everything that isn't quite lining up with my vision of how things ought to be. Some things can and should be changed but some need to be accepted. When I just submit to something that pretty much needs to be how it is, there's a lot of peace. But this submissiveness is so hard for me!
I also need to watch and pray continually so that I can see where I should be pro-active and where I should stand back and be humble and submissive and patient.
This week I was struck by several passages in Alma that emphasized huge sacrifices made to live and teach the gospel. Alma gave up a huge chunk of his life to devote to missionary work and along with Amulek, endured ridicule, beatings, hunger, prison and humiliation again and again at the hands of those who rejected their messages of hope and love (Alma 14). Amulek had to give up "all his gold, and silver, and his precious things, which were in the land of Ammonihah, for the word of God, he being rejected by those who were once his friends and also by his father and his kindred" (Alma 15:16). The followers of Alma and Amulek gave up their lives as they were burned while Alma and Amulek were forced to watch. Alma gave up (Alma 14).
Devotion to anything we really care about requires sacrifice. We can't have the benefits that come from devotion without paying the price. And all in all, the prices I've had to pay have been great bargains. Sure, paying tithing can feel like an uncomfortable squeeze sometimes. Sure, fulfilling callings often involves stress and time and doing things I don't necessary love. And yes, fasting, keeping the Sabbath Day holy (and helping 5 rambunctious kids do the same) offers plenty of challenges. Plus there have been deeper, harder, sometimes heart-wrenching sacrifices along the way. But all in all, I'm coming out way ahead. The Lord has offered me such abundant blessings for every sacrifice I've made - sooner or later, it all comes around beautifully.