As you may know, I’ll be leaving the Danville Stake shortly. I wanted to thank everyone in the stake who have all helped my family and me through some pretty tough times and I thought that the best way to do that would be to share my testimony… When asked how long I’ve been a member of the church, I often answer that I’ve been a member of the church for 4-5 years but I’ve been in the Danville stake for 20 years.
I think I’ve worn out more missionaries over the years answering my questions about the church & everything. But my epiphany occurred one day about 5 years ago while I was sitting in the passenger seat of our van watching Scott Halverson trying to save our dying battery. Watching Scott during the many, many years he had been our home teacher, I knew how good a person Scott is and that day I realized I wanted to be like him and the best way to do that is to hang out where he and others like him hang out. Thus my journey to the Plan of Happiness turned a corner… I can’t say that I’ve reached Scott’s level but I can tell that I’m in a better place…
Lessons on the Plan of Happiness emphasize how everything will be wonderful if you follow it; Sunny days and pretty flowers. But that doesn’t happen over-night. Rainy days still happen and I can see a number of them ahead. As I anticipate the wet & cold, I remember a quote that I heard recently- Rainbows are beautiful but you can’t have a rainbow without the rain. So if you love rainbows, you have to also embrace the rain.
They just aren’t obvious. They don’t look any different from everyone else. And they come in all shapes and sizes.
My youngest daughter left today on a band trip to Disneyland. I’m a little worried about her. She’s been dealing with this bizarre nerve condition called Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome for the last 6 months, since she was in a car accident. The accident wasn’t that severe in her mini-van but the whiplash she experienced triggered something in her shoulder and now the nerve is sending pain signals to the brain even when there isn’t any cause (beyond the signal which is the actual pain.)
So, I texted her some fatherly advice for when she’s away. One of the things I said was that “there are heroes all around us. They just aren’t obvious.” They don’t look any different from anyone else. My daughter Julia is a hero to me for the way she has endured the constant pain of CRPS and continued her normal life as much as possible, including captain of her school’s “Battle of the Books” team (it’s a reading geek thing) and playing oboe in band (hence the Disneyland trip.) And during it all, she’s not lost her patience with others like her sister or whined about how unfair her life is.
I wish there was some way we could give some recognition to the everyday heroes who are all around us. They deserve our admiration. Maybe if you and I looked a little deeper at others we encounter, we might discover more everyday heroes.
“You play the game in front of you.” Hugh, explaining coming to terms with being responsible for his much younger half-brother and sister in Just Not Mine by Rosalind James.
Sports can be a very good metaphor for life and this quote is a great way to say that life doesn’t always go the way you expect. So, even if you’ve got a great game plan and you’ve trained as much as possible and scouted your opponent, unexpected things may come up and you just have to accept them and keep on playing.