Friday, April 22, 2011

Saving the Worms or Saving the Birds?

I love the rain!  These last few weeks we have been getting a lot of rain (comparatively, Utah is a pretty dry state).  With the extra rain, there have been a lot of worms on the sidewalks.  With the extra moisture I guess it is a good time to travel; but sadly, many of them are not able to find a spot of earth before the rain stops.  The sun comes out quickly, everything is soon dry, and the worms become cooked to the sidewalk.  Not only is this very gross, but I do also have some sympathy for the worms.  In walking to the temple yesterday morning I decided maybe I could give a little charity, and save a few worms.  I did this by picking up the worms which were still moving and throwing them into the grass.  It was good at first, but very quickly it became strenuous.  It was not fun to keep bending over, and I felt gross after touching each worm.  I felt torn about leaving the worms to suffer, or alleviating my own pain.  Even though the worms were small and mostly insignificant it was difficult for me to rationalize a good reason to let them die, but I did not suffer long as I soon found a reason to stop.  I was saved later when I saw a bird tearing up a worm that was too big for it to eat all at once.  I rationalized that by saving worms I was really killing birds, I was taking away their breakfast.  In order to work for the greater good, I have stopped saving worms in order to save birds.

It struck me this morning how much this is really like the experience of many of those who fall away from the church.  It starts with joy and gladness, but as it becomes difficult it is easy to find excuses.  Unlike saving worms, the gospel is something which is good for both the worms and the birds—metaphorically speaking.  And the consequences of leaving it are more than just a gross looking sidewalk and dead worms.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Leaving the One Headlight Club

Testing camera, oops!  I should turn the flash off.

In the evenings walking back from the MTC to the home where we stay, there is a fairly busy road we walk next to.  One thing which has been surprising for me is the high number of cars which I have seen with only one headlight.  On one particular evening, I believe there were just about half a dozen cars which drove by us, all with one headlight out, and we consistently see at least three every evening.  I have been starting to wonder if there is a club, and some part of being in the club was to knock out a headlight.  I have not had a chance to investigate it, and I don’t think I will.  I have decided it is not a club I want to join.

It seemed surprising to see such a large number of people going around with this handicap or deficiency, especially when it can be easily corrected.  It made me think a little of how sometimes in our lives we can find ourselves walking around with deficiencies or sins which could also be easily fixed.  I can understand poor college students doing the best with what they can, but the best part of repentance is that it doesn’t cost any money!
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