“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Building our ships

1 Nephi 17

Anchored to the Infinite


The builder who first bridged Niagara’s gorge,
Before he swung his cable, shore to shore,
Sent out across the gulf his venturing kite
Bearing a slender cord for unseen hands
To grasp upon the further cliff and draw
A greater cord, and then a greater yet;
Till at the last across the chasm swung
The cable then the mighty bridge in air

So we may send our little timid thought
Across the void, out to God’s reaching hands—
Send out our love and faith to thread the deep—
Thought after thought until the little cord
Has greatened to a chain no chance can break,
And we are anchored to the Infinite!

What was different between Nephi's view and that of his brothers? Why did they doubt he could build a boat? Why did Nephi believe he could build one? When I ancho myself and my thoughts to to the infinite being that made me, when I find strength in his "reaching hands" I find that I can find "a greater cord" to build upon.

As I think about this poem and compare it to Nephi's courage to "listen" to God's spirit within him, I believe it is much like the "cable" that the architect flew across the gorge to build his bridge. In my own life I have many things that I must build: lives, love, relationships, family, weddings.:) There are so many things that I must rely on God for. So many things that I don't see or understand. Like the bridge builder, and like Nephi I must practice anchoring myself to the voice and direction of the infinite.

(Words and Phrases )

(vs2) So great were our blessings of the Lord
- I wonder how often I receive blessings and don't take time to realize where they came from. I've lived long enough to recognize that coincidences are not random acts. I know that as I reach out "to God's reaching hands" God, it is his love that anchors me.
(vs 8) Thou shalt construct a ship- I may not be a shipbuilder, but I have many things in my life that God expects me to do that I do not believe I can do on my own. I have learned that as I send out my "little timid thought" ..."across the void"... God's reaching hands finds that string and helps me build... line upon line until I have a cord, and then a rope, and then a cable and then a bridge or a ship that I can use to cross deep waters. If I build it with "love and faith" it will anchor not only myself, but those that follow me (family).
(vs 13) I will be your light in the wilderness.. I will prepare the way before you, ...if ye will keep my commandments. Why is it a hard thing for us to keep the commandments? If God were a flashlight and all we had to do was change the batteries would we? change the batteries? so that we could have light? I have learned to change or charge our batteries by following God's love at church, in the scriptures, and in keeping his commandments. I love this verse.
(vs 13) ye shall be led to the promised land.. and ye shall know it is by me ye are led ..- I have my own boat and my own bridge that will lead me to my "promised land". I have know that there are many "unseen hands" that lead me and catch my kite string helping me recognize who exactly is leading me. It brings nothing but joy to realize I am not alone in the wilderness. It brings great peace to know that I am led by a hand that will anchor me.
(vs 17) he thinketh he can build a ship - in all of life's accomplishments there will be opposition.
Opposition has its place. It drives us forward. It challenges us. I wonder if Nephi would have accomplished building the ship if he would have faced apathy? I wonder if he might have considered staying in the land Bountiful? ... But what I realize is that it wasn't Nephi that "thought" he could build a ship... that is what his brothers thought.. they thought that Nephi thought he could build a ship. Nephi knew he could... Why? Because he had been commanded to do so. How many times in my own life have I accomplished something much greater than I myself could do because I simply followed God's commandments and allowed God to tudor me? God gives me strength, knowledge, and wisdom beyond my own.
(vs 18) complain ... might not labor... did not believe... - I see a pattern of behavior. Doubt leads to complacency.. which leads to laziness... which leads to doubt... a cycle really. If I don't want to do the work... if I haven't been trained to the joys of work. if I want to be selfish.. then all I have to do is complain. I can find a cycle of complacency that will lead me nowhere or.. I can believe and find a cycle of faith that will lead me to my own promised land.
(vs 20) foolish imaginations of his heart ... I have often contemplated this phrase. What if the great inventors of our time were not led by their imaginations? What if they didn't believe in what they could accomplish or in someone greater than themselves? What if mankind had never known the voice of God in the wilderness? Consider how God's hand was involved in the making of America. Why do those who do not understand God's voice in their life call it an imagination?

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