Sunday, March 20, 2011

Not Winnable?

   It being Sunday, I enjoy thinking of more "Sunday-like" topics.  I started this article or talk (or whatever it is *S*)  almost six months ago and finally finished it this morning after my youngest son left to head back to school with Spring Break over.  I was sad and still am sad that I live so far from my children, but I needed to focus on positive things.  I hope you enjoy and I would appreciate any feedback:

Today while listening to General Conference, I was also playing Solitaire on my husband’s ipad (i am a great multi-tasker).   I had played for a while and then  suddenly noticed a little warning in red at the top which read, “not winnable”.  I automatically ended that game and then went on to another one because, of course, I wanted to win.  Who doesn’t want to win?  Each time I saw a small red, “not winnable” at the top I immediately ended that session and started a new game.  The computer is obviously programmed to know the outcome of my game before I do, which can be a little maddening except that it will save me wasting time on something that I cannot win.
 My thought process then began to turn toward my life as in comparison with the solitaire game.  If I was to know the outcome of my actions beforehand, if someone were to tell me in advance that my thoughts and actions were “not winnable” I would stop what I was doing and change my game plan. 

Several things can help me to do this.  First, the Holy Ghost can be my guide in knowing when I’m not going in the right direction.  I won’t necessarily hear him tell me that my life is “not winnable” because that is not the truth; however, he can show me in articles, in conference talks, in the scriptures and by thoughts & feelings that I need to make corrections; that if I do stay on this path and continue with my actions which aren’t ultimately producing joy in my life that it’s TIME to change.
The most important “help” I have in my “not winnable” game is the Savior and his atonement.  In the real game of solitaire, there’s a button at the bottom of the screen that lets you go back and “undo” your last move.  I love that I get many chances to make the game “winnable”.  And in my life the “undo” button is repentance.  And I get LOTS of chances to hit the “undo” button and repent and start over again.   2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”    Longsuffering, here is the key, I believe; we cannot understand in our lifetime the quality of  “longsuffering” that Christ has. 
In the footnotes for this scripture it says ‘forbearance’ which then lists forgiveness and patience as well as longsuffering.  Many of us have seen the painting of the Savior with his arms outstretched toward us; I do not believe that He ever takes them away.  It is we, who do not take advantage of this wonderful gift; do we not really believe Him?  It is easy to believe in Him, but do we actually “believe” what he says?  To “believe” Him, I believe we have to make an effort to “know” Him. 

As I was reading through scriptures I was amazed at how wonderful they are; wishing I could remember all of them.  I may not be able to memorize all of the scriptures, but I can remember the feeling I get while reading them which is one of hope and love.  That is what the Savior offers us in repentance; a feeling of hope and love.  "When you choose to follow Christ, you choose to be changed." -----Pres. Ezra Taft Benson
 So back to the title, “not winnable”.  I am so grateful that this life is so ‘winnable’!   Jesus Christ will not ever give up on us; let’s not give up on ourselves either. 
   In the Book of Mormon:  2 Nephi Chapter 32: vs 19-21
      “And now, my beloved brethren after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done?  Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
    Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.  Wherefore, if ye shall press forward feasting up on the word of Christ and endure to the end, behold thus saith the Father:  Ye shall have eternal life. 
   And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God....”

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