Everyone of us at sometime or another comes to the realization that there are certain things in this life that are beyond our control.
As hard as we try as mortal human beings to calculate and plan out our lives and circumstances just to our liking but we fail time and time again. We have our desires that we believe will fit our needs perfectly and we want them to be fulfilled right away. We often think that we can come up with solutions to how we are going to get exactly what we want. We think that we are the one who will align the stars and put the universe back in balance. How silly and ridiculous are we?
I want to illustrate my point with a surfing analogy. I am living here in Southern California preparing for my summer of love and I love to go to the different beaches to watch the surfers do their thing. I travel different beaches sometimes to play beach volleyball and I stand in awe of what the surfers get to experience.
I am 6’6″ and my high center of gravity makes surfing a little tricky for me. I want to be able to have some sort of skill one day in the sport. Each time I have tried though it has ended up in a disaster. Shark sightings at Huntington beach, a thunderstorm at Rincon in Puerto Rico, and once I had a short board with no leash get away from me at some territorial local spot in Newport and almost take a man’s head off.
Any surfer will tell you that he has the utmost respect for the water and the elements that are beyond his or her control. Surfing is such a unique sport where the elements of nature (waves) are combined with the skill and craftiness of man (surfer and his surfboard). The waves usually come in sets of three, but they can dramatically shift with the tide and the wind and gravity’s pull on the earth.
In order for a surfer to be successful, not only do they need to be in top physical condition and master the skills of paddling, standing up and riding but they need to become students of the waves. Timing is everything in surfing. To enter or exit a wave at just the right moment and then ride it out with some style as long as it will allow. Of course this ideal does not always happen. Often there are waves we cannot catch, other surfers that get in the way, or waves that we begin to ride but fall and we are left to toss and turn under water with our head spinning at the mercy of the wave.
What I want to suggest is that there are elements of our lives that we cannot control. Heavenly Father is in control. He has a plan for each one of us and it is through His power that all things will be accomplished. It is our duty as men and women on earth not to figure it all out and try to fix everything but to trust God and his infinite wisdom and that he knows what is best for each of us.
Mosiah 4:9 From the Book of Mormon states, “Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he has created all things both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all things which the Lord can comprehend.”
There are waves that are set in motion in our lives sometimes that we cannot understand. Whether it be in relationships, school, career, family, trials, suffering, accidents, etc. Sometimes things in our life just happen, whether good or bad. In our finite minds we cannot comprehend the complexities of life. We try to wrap our heads around politics, the economy, families and relationships and yet we still constantly fail as individuals and as a society in all of these areas. No one has all the answers. You might see someone driving a Porsche down the road or anyone in a prominent position of status, wealth or fame and think, “man that guy or gal has got to have all the answers.” Although they may know something you don’t know they don’t have it all figured out. Everyone in this world is on an equal playing field as far as being lost and confused as to why things happen.
Even the Prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson admits that he does not know all the answers. Here is an excerpt from his autobiography where he illustrates this point…
President [J. Reuben] Clark [Second Counselor to President David O. McKay], in his message [to us], suggested that a mission president should not, in response to questions, be embarrassed to say, “I don’t know.” He said, “We get in difficulty if we think we know all the answers.” He then illustrated with an experience from his own life concerning a mission president who had brought an investigator to visit with President Clark, the investigator having about ten questions unanswered. To each question, President Clark had responded, “I don’t know.”
He then said, “Brother Monson, if a member of the First Presidency can answer don’t know” to ten consecutive questions, a mission president should not hesitate to respond, I don’t know.’ He may then send the question to the First Presidency but should not be surprised if he receives an answer back that we don’t know, either. There are many things that the Lord has not yet revealed to the First Presidency.”
God simply refuses to reveal all things unto man until this test of mortal life is through. Waves are set in motion in our lives by God. He controls the elements, gravity and the wind. Christ was able to calm the raging sea, “What manner of man is this! For he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him ” (Luke 8:25).
Back to our surfing analogy, it is important above all things that we remember that although we can study the currents, train our hardest to be in perfect shape, or look for the perfect timing, that we are still at the mercy of nature. In our lives we must remain humble yet hungry to conquer all the waves and challenges set before us. If we stopped studying or training we wouldn’t be able to ride a wave in the first place and so our part is necessary as well.
The beauty of this life I think is that we do not know all the answers. How fun or exciting would it be if we did? We are all in this journey together and with our Heavenly Father. If we “look unto him in every thought, doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:36) and endure to the end then he will grant unto us eternal life. Our minds will be enlightened and expanded at that time and we will see how our lives were woven as perfect tapestries by God, knowing the end from the beginning and what waves to send our way in order to lead us safely back to home with him.
The Lord commanded the Jaredites to build barges to cross the ocean to the promise land. They had no sails, they could only rely on the Lord that the wind and waves would ultimately lead them to their destination (Ether 2:24-25). We must have similar faith in our personal lives. If we give our lives to the Lord and trust him whole heartedly, he will make out of our lives more than we ever could imagine.
I have no idea what the result of my experience with “The Mormon Bachelor” will be. I hope that in the end it is a true love connection, but I am also realizing that the show is a little bit “beyond me.” There are greater purposes involved.
I know that as I turn to the Lord for guidance or direction that he will be there to lead me along this path. I am being guided by his hand on a daily basis. I have done a lot of media appearances in the past couple weeks. ABC’s “The Bachelorette” has begun and right at the same time Mitt Romney’s campaign and “I am a Mormon” ads are gathering widespread national attention. People are fascinated by the Mormon religion and want to more about why we are so different. We have been on all the major networks, we had an article in The Huffington Post, Discovery channel wants to do a documentary on Mormonism and have us be apart of it, and even TIME magazine wants to do a story. The show has never grabbed so much attention in the past and so it is all a little bit unexplainable.
Even if I do not find love on the show with all of these blind dates, I know that the opportunity I am getting to be a missionary and an ambassador for the Lord is priceless. I am so happy and I feel as though I have transformed into my missionary self again back in Ecuador teaching and testifying of truth. I am constantly being asked questions about our faith and our standards. I get asked questions on the spot and I have to search in my heart for the right words. I find myself opening my mouth and having it filled (D&C 33:8). I often find myself bringing up the temple and eternal families without anyone even asking about it.
If we give our lives to him the Lord promises, “there will I be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”
All of the different dynamics with the momentum of “the Mormon Bachelor” building up have been daunting. I don’t think anyone can really prepare for an opportunity like this. It feels as though the show is a massive wave headed my way and that I am a little too untrained to know how to best ride. I have been scared, I have been confused and I have been weak. Yet I know where to turn for strength and comfort. Every time I have turned to the Lord he has blessed me with new insights, power to move forward, and love in my heart for everyone involved.
If you would like to follow what has been going on lately in the news, go to the site, wwww.themormonbachelor.com or click on the tab at the top of this blog page under the header “The Mormon Bachelor.” The show will air online starting on July 1st.