Monday, May 7, 2018

Snails, Spirals and a Staircase to Heaven

It's time.  Time to wake up, study some snails, (or set some big goals) and start climbing that Staircase to Heaven again. 

5 am Sunday: Groggy thoughts poking and prodding me awake... prompting me to remember something....suddenly clarity sprang from spiraling wanderings and I realized that it was time for me to set a certain goal.
 I've set this goal before... many times's a simple yet meaningful goal and it brings me great peace and joy and growth.

The goal:  To pray deeply and intently each day, seeking direction and revelation from the Holy Ghost each day.

As I woke up, deciding to set the goal, I felt such lovely peace in my heart. Knowing peace comes only from the Holy Ghost, I took comfort in knowing that Heavenly Father was pleased both with the goal and the timing of the goal. 

In my mind I started to set up a plan so this goal could become part of my routine, when suddenly I stopped in frustration.

A Dead Stop.

Into my mind swirled all the times I've started this goal and stopped it.  I felt so frustrated that I kept forgetting my goal, forgetting to spend meaningful time listening to Someone who means a great deal to me. The peaceful feeling fled as I remembered all the times I'd started but hadn't remembered to keep going. I felt like a slothful servant who tries repeatedly but makes no progress.  

Then I remembered that fear and doubt don't come from the Holy Ghost. So, I prayed, asking Heavenly Father to forgive me for giving into human frailty yet again.  I asked Him to help me forgive myself for being mortal, for forgetting.  I felt peace rush back into my heart.  And into my mind came this quote by Jeffery R. Holland.

"Be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you.... Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we.  Jeffery R. Holland's talk, "Lord, I Believe."

I love this straight-forward sentiment.  It's so comforting to remember that we are having a mortal experience, learning here and growing there, pressing through a veil of forgetfulness that sometimes thins and gives us beautiful moments of clarity and tender remembering and sometimes swirls back into thickness, causing us to forget if we are not careful.

As peace swept back into my heart during my prayer, an image came along with it.

This.  Isn't it amazing? 
 Spirals.  They've been spiraling through my mind often lately.
Let me explain.
When I realized this morning that I was setting the Exact Same Goal I set a year ago, I felt like this.
 A snail.  
Going nowhere. Slowly.
 How frustrating for Heavenly Father to have to deal with a 
slothful servant 
who repeatedly tries but makes no progress.  
But when I saw the Spiral in my mind it changed my perspective.  Completely.  See there's even a spiral in the shell of the snail.  (It's a sign.) (Ha Ha.)

The Spiral reminded me of this scripture....

D&C 3:2 "For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round. "

God walks in a straight path, yet His course is one eternal round. 
 Like in a Spiral, ascending to Heaven, perhaps.
And where does that leave us, His children, who are trying to follow in Christ's footsteps?  

Well, maybe with each step we take, we are rising.  
Maybe each time we come full circle, 
each time we make the same goal with fresh determination 
and increased faith in Jesus Christ,
we are slowing ascending the spiral staircase, 
keeping our paths straight and our course one eternal round.

But like I said, it's only a "maybe". The only way to know for sure if you are ascending the beautiful Staircase to Heaven is to Ask.
Ask if you are progressing.  
Ask if you are on the right staircase.  Ask if you are heading in the right direction.  If you don't get an answer, try moving in a direction that feels right. 
 If it isn't right for you, you will feel to stop- if you keep asking. If it is right, keep moving.

I am grateful for repentance and forgiveness and for starting over again.  I am grateful for Jesus Christ, who saves me from myself. 

It's time to wake up, stretch, and set big goals, climbing that Staircase to Heaven.  My snail days are behind me.  It's time to take another step in that straight path that ascends Heaven-ward. 

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