kayaking on Mantua reservoir
I'm studying faith in Christ right now. In doing so I've been reading a lot about trees and fruit and roots. About trust and diligence, patience and hope. I love the analogies used to teach faith. I can relate to trees and roots and water and through them, I'm starting to understand more about faith.
This scripture particularly stood out to me,
"If ye will not nourish the word looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life."
The theme of looking forward stood out to me. At this part of the parable on faith, Alma has talked a lot about seeds and the importance of nourishing them and giving it room and good ground for growth. He's talked about giving it great care and the importance of not neglecting it. I find it interesting that another dependent variable for the success of the growth of the tree and the rooting of the seed is looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit.
I feel like Alma is reminding us that we must be future forward faith focused. We must have goal directed persistence (to put it in executive functioning terms). We must not give up before we've given the seed a chance to grow. We must keep watering, keep nourishing, even when we think the seed might not make it or when we aren't sure whether it's going to take off or not. We must persist with the perspective that our current circumstances are not our future circumstances.
Alma goes on to say...
"But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
Our God is a big picture God. He doesn't see things in isolated events or occurrences. He doesn't experience our experiences in snapshots. He knows how they connect, how they interconnect with others--his view is perfect. It is broad and deep. He knows the in's and out's. He is both high and wide. He "gets" it!
So what does looking forward look like for me, right now, as a 30-year-old-single-working-female-who-hopes-to-be-a-wife-and-mother-one-day-and-who-is-absolutely-happy-and-optimistic-in-the-meantime? It means that I look forward! I get anxious and excited about the present and the future. I remain optimistic in all aspects of my life. I strive to be engaged in the present and in the opportunities that are currently present in my life. I make intentional choices to have joy. I focus on the things that have eternal worth. I thank the Lord for the fact that I am on the ride and that there is more around the riverbend. Looking forward also means I keep sowing. I do good things, contribute good to the world, and try to make the world a better place for my presence. I continue learning and trying so that I am becoming who I want to be. I strive to be in the right places and examine whether I am in them with the appropriate frequency.