Sunday, February 05, 2006

the blessings of the fast

i love disco skating. we used to go back in the golden days of centennial. but people went on missions or moved out of the ward, and it lost its appeal. now a new ward brings new disco skaters; i really do love my ward and think that my friends who come skating are pretty cool. i bemoan that they play my favorite song during the ladies skate, forcing me to stand on the side and give hi-5's, and i come back with a blister on the same spot of my right ankle every week, but largely overall it's a blast being out there.

couple skates used to make me really nervous when i was at 'skateland' in 6th grade. now i wish there were more.

skittle bowling also turned out to be quite fun. a tip o' the hat to jaime for that one...

disco skating is pleasure. it is fun at the moment, but the fun does fade. there are many things that provide deeper, lasting joy. one is watching someone grow in the gospel.
last semester, my hometeaching companion and i were assigned a guy who hadn't been to church in a while. he was very nice and always willing to meet with us, and his mom loved having us over and made sure we got something to eat. on our first visit i invited him to take the book of mormon challenge to finish it by the end of the year. every month we visited with him, and he honestly answered hadn't read it; but it was amazing teaching him, because his testimony was strong and he had a wonderful spirit about him. in january, we invited him to church the next week and he said he'd 'like to come.' we were stoked.
i arrived early that sunday and he was already dressed in his suit, with a new haircut, waiting with his mom, holding his scriptures. he asked if i recognized him. i told him i did.
everyone at church was friendly to him, introducing themselves and inviting him to activities. he asked for a wilford woodruff book, gave comments in class and got his picture taken for the ward directory. and he was the first one to come to ward prayer that night. and man, did i love my ward. the next week on the way to church, he commented that he had read his scriptures that week; he had read all of 1st nephi! he mentioned how he saw some changes he needed to make in the people he hung around with. that night he came and played games with some people from the ward. today i asked him what he does in his free time between work; he showed me that he was now in alma 57- he had read half of the book of mormon in a week!
sitting next to him in church was a wonderful moment. he is back at church, reading his scriptures, and making changes in his life. there are few feelings that bring greater and purer joy than watching a friend grow in the gospel.

last week i was at my sister's place, reading aloud from a pop pyschology book about why i was the emotional neurotic that i am and that makes me, me. becky grabbed the book and threw it on the ground and said 'a wise person once said that the study of doctrine changes behavior more than the study of behavior.'
one of my favorite quotes.
and she taught me a very good lesson there, and i am grateful for an awesome sister who tells me i'm being dumb when i'm being dumb [she is also very good at listening to me spout my fears when i need to, which is what i was going before the incident].

but that is very true. true doctrine, understood, changes behavior more than a study of behavior. thank you, elder packer. i have seen and felt that both in my own life and in the lives of those around me.

i had a thought this morning that must be inspired, because i would never think it one my own.
i am going to do and experiment this week and get up at 6:30 every morning, monday through saturday. my reasoning is that it will give me a better attitude and make me more productive. plus, that sort of discipline is something i want to develop. of course, this will be difficult if i watch conan every night at 11:37, but with new inventions like tivo, my obstacles are removed.
along with rising early, exercise seems in order. i went out running on friday morning. actually, i was going to use the weight room, but felt a little run would be good first. it became more of a sprint, actually, thanks to 'dancing with myself' coming on my ipod and helping me to give it my all. following that with no water and a weight machine, i made myself somewhat sick and had to come home after 10 minutes.
'and see that all these things are done in wisdom and in order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. and again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all must be done in wisdom and in order.'

it changes behavior better than a study of my weight training book.

1 comment:

Em said...

Jeff, I love your blog. I hope you write and write. Thanks for being candid, it makes for better writing and better reading and multiple epiphanies for both writer and reader.

And I think you've outdone me already. Most of my writing you can tell I was interrupted 4 or 5 times by "actually having to do my job" since I post at work. Plus there's the whole pregnancy brain fuzz that also detracts.

I told Dean Duncan that I had a favorite secret source telling me he'd nicely redirected conversation at Tom R's forum. He said he was flattered. I guess he's having a rough year politically - you know how it is. If you get a chance or see him, remind him how awesome we all think he is. I've had serious thoughts about naming children after him in the hopes it would make them smarter. - And thanks for staying friends with Tom R while I'm at it. I wish I were better at that... but I don't seem to have the self-confidence to assume people want to stay in touch with me... especially really cool people like TMA faculty.

You continue to be an awesome human being... please.

As a person with a perspective from the other side of being married.... my 1 regret about dating is that I took it so seriously. I read into everything so deeply, it was like a constant string of auditions and generally icky. I recommend having a good time, and never ever worry about leading anyone on. If you're not doing it on purpose, it's not a sin just a misunderstanding. Have a good time, you will not do permanent damage to anyone.

just two cents.