Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Life of the Warrior

I am at the end of my rope.  I just started a new job.  I have less then $40 in the bank.  I just recently got into a minor car accident that will just be a little over $500 in repairs.  I owe a little over $200 on my credit card.  I still have my monthly rent, food, car payments, and insurance to worry about.  Why do I tell you this?

I'm outside of my comfort zone.  Some of you laugh because you envy my situation.  Trust me, I know it can be a lot worst.  And yet, this part of life makes me stretch in the places I need to grow the most.  

I can publicly speak in front of thousands of people--no problem.  If I need to get a poster designed in 24 hours--no sweat.  I have no problem meeting new people.  But you put me in a situation where I owe more then $200 and I got my knees shaking and start sweating bullets.  I'm not comfortable and consider my situation miserable.
Yeah, they got shields and helmets.  Don't need much else.

The Spartans of ancient Greece thrived on basic needs.  They didn't have lavish camps, soft cots to sleep on, or fine foods to eat.  They were also some of the fiercest warriors in the history of mankind.  Their training was rigorous and brutal and not accommodating.  When we describe bare basic amenities we often describe them as Spartan.  (A "spartan" locker room for example does not have partitions to dress in or any sense of privacy.  No privacy for Spartans.) 

There's a story of a man that carries this large cross.  He is exhausted and it is quite a challenge for him.  The man carries this cross following a path to a land of promise.  Exhausted he seeks relief from his Heavenly Father, "Oh God, please deliver me from baring this cross."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes God, of course."
"What would you like me to do?"
After thinking for a moment the man says, "Send me a saw.  Let me just make this cross a little lighter."
"You wouldn't like that."
"Oh please, Father.  I just want a smaller cross to carry."
"Alright, the choice is yours."
A saw falls from heaven.  The man, relieved, saws away at his cross.  It becomes smaller and smaller until he's able to wear it across his neck.  Relieved, the man continues his journey to the land of promise.

I've often talked about becoming the heroes we idolize.  Reaching our full potential is impossible without getting outside of our comfort zones.  If we're always seeking to get away from the refiner's fire, how can we ever hope to reflect the metal smith, our savior, who refines us?

Here's my fully authentic feeling on my current situation.  I hate it.  I hate owing money.  I hate the anxiety of the future of wondering if I'll be able to pay for living.  I have the most trouble feeling peace despite how much of a spiritual man I thought I was.  I think, if I was really this spiritual guy I wouldn't be filled with so much anxiety as to what's going to happen to my future.

Which brings me to why I decided to write this: I needed to.  Why?  Because sharing my story and sharing my testimony that I know that I'll be okay is exactly what I need to say.  Guess what?  Things may get a little worse.  I probably won't meet my goals of being credit card debt free by the end of this summer.  But this is the life of the warrior, you have everything you need and just barely--maybe even a little less.  You're outside of your comfort zone so that you can become the sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father you want to be.

I've been tested and been in trial before.  Being in school was outside of my comfort zone at one time.  Now I enjoy being in school--even with all of its bureaucracy and stress.  Now I have to take this opportunity to be thankful for and learn from the challenge presented to me.

Now let's get back to that man with the cross.
The man continued his journey but stopped.  He came to a large ravine impossible to past.  On the other side was the land of promise.  Heart broken, the man had no idea what to do. 
 A Spartan came carrying a cross as large as the one the other man once carried.  This Spartan came to the ravine and laid his cross across it.  He walked on his cross and pick it up on the other side when he happily continued his path to the land of promise.  This Spartan knew the sentiments of his Heavenly Father.  He valued his trials and because of his gratitude and patience he crossed the ravine and continued his journey.
My message to all of you and most importantly, myself, is that no matter how uncomfortable your trial you'll come out in the end if you just trust your Heavenly Father.  Yes, it might hurt like any surgery or any adventure.  But with a belief in ourselves and a belief in our God I know that anything is possible.  He gives us the choice to live the Warrior life at times.  I can promise you from my experience that we can thrive in this life.  We can enjoy it too, not just endure it.

I'm thankful for this opportunity to grow.  I know that I have the support of family, friends, and my Savior.

-Stephen

4 comments:

  1. I love this. Very much so. It's incredibly powerful and speaks volumes to me. It reminds me that maybe things aren't so far gone.

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  2. Seriously close to getting me to cry. If that's the case, you know it's good.

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  3. The book of James has some of my favorite and most hated verses. Here's a few that I love some days, like when other people are having troubles, and hate other days, like when I'm having troubles.

    James 1:2-4 says...
    Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

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