It’s not often that I get scared. Ok. I suppose it would be a bad idea to start off a talk with what is essentially a lie. I get scared all the time.
I don’t know why I have ever payed to go through a haunted house when it ultimately ends up with me stumbling through the dark with my eyes closed.
I don’t know why I watch scary movies when the majority of the film is watched over the top of a pillow.
I don’t know why I was nervous about starting school again. After slipping through the cracks of the BYU Idaho acceptance system and benefitting from what was undoubtedly an ACT scoring error I find myself a college student and even after three years of being here I’m still excited. Not only am I here with some very choice people but as far as I can tell… for at least the winter semester… BYU Idaho is conveniently located on the ice planet Hoth and I’ve always wanted to ride a taun taun.
But these are all small time scares. Many of which Manufactured for supposed good times and giving friends and family alike ample opportunity to laugh at me. They’re fun because you know that in the end everything is going to be a-ok. You are never truly out of control.
What really frightens me are the times and situations that bring along with them the feeling of being out of control. That feeling of knowing exactly what you want or where you want to be or who you want to be and not being able to do anything about it. But thankfully… that is where our heavenly father steps in.
Those feelings of fright and doubt almost always originate from the same place. Why should we give the one who wants nothing more than to see us suffer and be destroyed any quarter in our minds?
We need to remember not to second guess ourselves into inaction. What ifs can cripple you. We can have the most righteous desire and be the most deserving of it and we can snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.
Listening to what ifs can turn the possibility of failure into an undoubted certainty.
G.S. Patton sums it up perfectly. He said A man must know his destiny… if he does not recognize it… then he is lost. By this I mean… once… twice… or at the very most… three times… fate will reach out and tap a man on the shoulder… if he has the imagination… he will turn around and fate will point out to him what fork in the road he should take… and if he has the guts… he will take it.
Do we have the guts to truly go for what we want? Do we have the guts to put our faith in a plan that we don’t know all of the steps too? Working at an elementary school has provided more life lessons than I could have ever anticipated. Here are a few examples of some of the wisdom that I have learned from these little gifts from heaven that I felt impressed to share with you: Going against all logic and common sense… sour apple fun dip makes a surprisingly delicious topping to a ham and cheese sandwich. People will eventually stop making fun of you for peeing your pants if you just go ahead and to commit to making it a daily occurrence. Butts always have been and always will be hilarious. And a killer butt joke is always totally worth whatever time out comes as the result of them. But the most important lesson I think that I have learned from the kids is confidence. Confidence and fearlessness. Plain and simple.
When we are struggling with trying to make a decision or when that crippling fear comes creeping back making it nigh impossible to make a move we need to remember that confidence can come from prayer and prayer is a form of work. Plan the work and then work the plan. Prayer for me has never been about receiving a witness and then going to work. If I want to receive an answer to my prayers my personal process of praying is a little more action oriented. They are more along the lines of Ok… Heavenly Father. Here is my plan. I believe this to be a righteous desire and this is the course of action I am going to take to achieve it. I am going to act. IF this course of action or the desired outcome go against your plan for me… please let me know so I can alter my course… otherwise it is full steam ahead. This is called the enabling power of the atonement.
We need to remember that opposition turns up almost any place something good has happened or could soon happen. It can happen when you are trying to get an education. It can occur in situations related to your family… Church callings… or career. With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make… but once there has been illumination… beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it… it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. Face your doubts. Master your fears.
Fear can dominate and ruin your life if you let it. It can keep you rooted to the spot as you watch the amazing things in life that should have been yours drift right past should you let it. Do not let it. Rest assured that our heavenly father knows what he is doing and faith in him will never lead us down the wrong path.
Be happy. Be awesome. Be brave.