Archive for August, 2010

The Parable of the Rainbow That Doubled

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Today was filled with fabulous thunderstorms. I happen to think the sound of falling rain, especially heavy-falling rain, is one of nature’s most glorious sounds. So this evening has been pure delight. I took some time to sit on my front porch and watch the rain. And what should appear but a rainbow—a gorgeous complete rainbow. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a full rainbow fill the horizon. So I watched in splendor, and then I grabbed my camera.

After taking some photos, I decided to sit and watch a little longer. And what should appear but a second rainbow! A second beautiful and complete rainbow right in front of my eyes. It was a great reminder that when you sit and partake in the joys of nature, your joys tend to double—just like they did tonight. I’m glad I didn’t go inside after the first ten minutes, because the second ten minutes were twice as fantastic. That seems to be the case for many of life’s true beauties, doesn’t it?

Today I created a moment to partake in the joys of nature.

The Parable of the [Movie] Transformation

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Tonight I opted to turn off a show instead of watching it. The show wasn’t bad; I just knew I could do something more constructive with my time. (I was tempted to watch a show because I’ve been under the weather without much energy to participate in other activities. I’m finally starting to feel better, though!) As I reflected this evening on that decision, I felt a sense of renewal and growth—a sense of putting off the everyday man for the hope of the eternal. And I wished for an instant that I were a professional photographer who could visually represent that feeling by capturing a young woman standing on a rock in a river, having just stepped out of the water—leaving a heavy coat of the world behind—and standing tall on the rock with a stream of light pouring upon her in a light, clean dress. Then I remembered I’ve seen that image many times before.

It’s Ariel when she bursts from the water as a human princess instead of a mermaid. It’s the Beast when he sheds his animal appearance for his human royalty. It’s Mrs. Potts and Chip as they transform into humans and run to each other’s arms. It’s a sense of renewal, of growth, and of becoming one’s true self. In the movies, this transformation is depicted as a one-time milestone. Yet tonight I remembered that it’s a daily occurrence. It’s the conscious decision to “put off the natural man” and live as a beacon of hope and light in a world filled with despair. But more than serving as a beacon for others, it’s a transformation that serves each of us personally first. It’s the decision to become one’s true self. And in becoming one’s true self, one can’t help but serve others.

Daily Creation

Today I downloaded MP3s of CES fireside archives so I can listen to them more frequently. These firesides are addressed to young adults ages 18–30, when they’re making many decisions that will shape their future (of course, I believe that’s true of any age). For me, listening to these firesides is like drinking a glass of water on a day spent working in the sun. It’s refreshing and gives you the strength to withstand the heat.

Today I created a playlist that’s good for the soul.

P.S. Why the “Daily Creation” section? It’s a new goal of mine. More to come about it in the near future.

The Parable of the Seen and Unseen Post-it Notes

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

This afternoon I read Way to Be! by President Gordon B. Hinckley. As I pulled it off the bookshelf, I noticed numerous Post-it Notes sticking out the side and remembered a month I had forgotten about.
Around 2003, I read this book in preparation for a talk I had been asked to give in church on the subject—the “nine Be’s” that help you “be happy and make something of your life.” Since I was preparing for the talk, I realized I may mark the book different from what I would have if just reading for myself, so I opted to use sticky notes to mark potential passages I could quote for my talk.
Shortly after my talk, I told a friend how good the book was, and she asked to borrow it. I explained about the Post-it Notes. She ended up marking the book with sticky notes as well, and mentioned that it was like having a piece of her left with the book. I loved that idea, and I never removed either set of sticky notes.
Years later, I love having those notes. They not only remind me of a great friend, but they also capture a piece of our lives—of what was important to us at that time and what words of advice, knowledge, and comfort spoke to our souls.
Just as my friend Jessica left stick notes in my book with lessons important to her, I think we constantly leave unseen sticky notes in one another’s lives. I can immediately think of several lessons people have given me throughout life. And just like the notes in this book, I can continue to call upon those sticky-note lessons and the impact they left on me.
This parable has left me with two homework assignments today:
(1) Reflect on the wonderful lessons I have learned from good examples in my life, and apply them to my life today to become more and more like the person I want to be. (On a future day, I need to remember to send notes of gratitude to the people who taught me those lessons.)
(2). Meditate on the unseen sticky notes I’m leaving in the lives of others, and make sure the notes I’m leaving are positive ones left with care and love.
And with that, I’m off to ponder.