I’ve been blogging a lot lately. That means my soul is reaching for something. It’s begging for abstract futuristic thought. It happens often. The superficial nature of the world I live in becomes increasingly obvious and all I wish is for a reach to the tallest mountain where I can gaze upon the significance of all things. I don’t climb mountains to be above things, I seek heights in order to understand things in context. To see their connections with their surroundings, to understand the purpose and thereby the future direction of the thousands of acts and impulses flashing around me. How interesting that something as globally available as a blog has become a place of baring my soul with little restraint. I suppose we all have a desire to share the deepest portions of our hearts, the things that matter most. Few are the people and few are the situations where I dare to reveal portions of my inner self. Yet here, before the world (although my blog is supposedly blocked to search engines), I lay out the gory remnants of my brain in a hope that by writing them, by confessing them, I can understand the troubling urges that haunt my shadows.
Okay, I’m done blogging about blogging, I got a little carried away. I wanted to write about a fireside I attended tonight at the feet of a teacher I had in Jerusalem. Like me, he has returned to Provo and BYU but feels the pull to stand once more and gaze upon the holy city. He taught us of the presence, mostly suggested, of families in the gospel of Luke. He has the remarkable ability to see the deeper meaning of the text. He has swam through the Greek and ancient manuscripts and pondered deeply on the meanings therein. He has insights that go beyond Sunday school. When he tells the story it is as if he were recounting a personal experience. I won’t say his name as I respect the potential for evil the internet has.
His voice brought a spirit into the room that I recognized and missed. I had my scriptures on the floor in front of me, open, flipping back and forth between passages. When was the last time I wrote a note in the margin of my quad, my dear friend for so many years? Why is our Sunday activity “game night” instead of scripture night? Have I sacrificed deep spiritual discussions with jokes and one line humor? I guess I have felt at times that I am over-read, I’ve read every scripture multiple times. Do I assume that my ability to learn has been reduced to a verse here or there, a flash of insight while thinking of something else? No, I need to return to serious study of the scriptures. My 10 minutes breakfast glossary is insufficient.
As the fireside wrapped up we mingled. It was a group of 4 semesters of Jerusalem students. I knew a few there and was pleased to greet them. But I went up to the sage, our leader and teacher, and knelt by his chair to better ask a question and hear his response. A dear friend, one who had driven with me and needed to leave promptly, came and knelt by me before the man who had once been our district president and was now our friend. It hit me, all my best blogging experiences have to do with something hitting me, how very extremely lucky we had been to kneel at the feet of one so wise and learned. Not only someone with academic and ecclesiastical accolades but someone whose was humble enough to kneel with us before the subject of the book of Luke. I realized that the spirit of that man, who was only an assistant director in Jerusalem, in large part was the spirit of my Jerusalem experience. His knowledge, his passion, his love of the sanctifier of the holy land hovered over the center and guided it’s course through the world.
All these posts end the same way, what do you do about it? What will you change in your life because of what you experienced? It is a question that has rested on me ever since I gazed out the bus window at a golden dome seven thousand miles away. Why have I been graced with such famed and wise teachers? Not just in Jerusalem, but at BYU too. In high school and as a missionary. At scout camp and efy. In the church and out of it. In my very home. I have been given access to incalculable knowledge and (to some degree) the capacity to absorb it. I have two responsibilities that I can fathom. I have to use that knowledge as I make my choices. My exercise of agency must be governed by the lessons I have learned and the priceless experiences I have been given. Second, I have to pass on the gemstones to as many others as possible. That means I should write less. I’m told that my blog entries are too long and that people rapidly lose interest, especially in these longer ones where it is all the ramblings of spirit only mildly interspersed with brief narrative and excessive artistic license.
O world, please use the wisdom of our elders and seek the light, wherever the light.