Sunday, December 9, 2012
A Digressing Tangent...
I remember being in elementary school and hearing about my friends flying to see their grandparents or other family or friends. I thought they were so lucky because they were able to have the experience of flying on an airplane. Now, as I've just returned from a trip and a few long plane rides with my girls, I find myself reminiscing about the days when if I wanted to see my family all I had to do was get in my car and drive 20-60 minutes. I am no longer jealous of my old friends.
I think I took for granted having my family so near. Living away from my family has taught me an important lesson about the strength and love of family. It's a love that can stretch and span as far as we can travel. It's a love that will remain through all of time. I can see why we are counseled so often by our church leaders to continue to strengthen our families. I understand how the family unit is vital to the success of our children and loved ones. I've also gained further understanding as to why Satan is so determined to destroy these precious families. When the family deteriorates so do our strengths and virtues, as do our hopes of a better future. It is the love and nurturing that we get from our families that makes children strong enough to endure what Satan and his minions throw at them, it gives them the armor needed to be protected from the fiery darts of the adversary.
While on my trip I read an article expressing concerns that the young adults of my generation are being hindered by their closer relationships with their parents. I was shocked to see it. I have seen similar things over the past couple of years, some aimed at teenagers, others at the young adults, and even some, like the article i saw, aimed at the older generation of retirees and grandparents. I found myself asking why this is becoming more frequent, but the answer was obvious. We have been warned about this for years. Satan is attacking our families, and he's doing a pretty darn good job of it. He is very aware of what happens when the family unit breaks down and loses its foundation.
While on my trip back home I was able to attend two Christmas parties. One of them was with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. It had been over two years since I had seen most of them. It was such a special experience to see them all. At the end of the night as we were all singing together I looked at all their faces and realized that it wasn't simply the fact that we were gathered together that made this such a close family, it was that we are centered around Christ, our Savior. Whether we gather at Christmas or any other time of the year the event always centers around our love for Christ and His role in our lives.
What would happen if the world were to do the same? How many problems could be solved simply by following Christ's example? How many lives could be saved if the world was focused on strengthening our families? I believe the answer to all these questions can be found in 4 Nephi 1:1-18.
My goal from this point on (as lofty as it may seem) is to keep Christ in my heart in all things. I want to keep an attitude of gratitude all through the Christmas season and on into the rest of the year. I know that if I can do this the joy I feel when gathered with my family, big or small, will remain in my heart and hopefully I will be able to pass that along to all I come in contact with.