Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shine On

Now that I've finished my masters degree (commencement is this Saturday), I feel like I can finally breath (this semester's "exit paper" has been grueling) and take notice of the world around me. Today at lunch I happened to look up. I was surprised to see this dark ring around the sun--I've never seen anything like it before.

I'm sure it's not the first of many things I've failed to notice in life by failing to look outside of myself--whether looking around me or up. And maybe its the primary chorister calling I have, but reflecting on this picture of the sun (I snapped it on my phone) made me think of the little song, "Shine On":

1. My light is but a little one,
My light of faith and prayer;
But lo! it glows like God’s great sun,
For it was lighted there.

2. I may not hide my little light;
The Lord has told me so.
’Tis given me to keep in sight,
That all may see it glow.

Shine on, shine on, shine on bright and clear;
Shine on, shine on now the day is here.

Truth is, I haven't particularly felt much like shining lately. My "light of faith and prayer" has diminished somewhat in recent months. There hasn't been any sudden crisis of faith, just an ongoing transition in matters of faith in which things no longer shine as bright and clear as they seemed to in the past. I guess I can relate to that dark ring around the sun. More than ever, I recognize how much I see "through a glass darkly". At least I can still see the light from the darkness.


Rich Alger said...

I too have not felt near as much feeling to shine. My heart still longs for the day when God shines the bright light of understanding where before I saw darkly.

"Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last."
Be Still My Soul

Papa D said...

CC and Rich, both of you have read my stuff enough to know, I think, that I openly admit that I see through my glass, darkly. It's kind of a personal mantra - and I've also seen through my glass differently than most others I know for as long as I can remember.

Part of me really wants to see brightly in this life - but then I realize that nearly all of my most important growth has occurred as I've acted and tried and fallen and gotten back up again in the midst of my relatively dark sight, and I'm not so sure I really do want to believe that I see clearly. The idea of thinking I see clearly scares me a bit, because I think I might not explore and learn as much if I suddenly think I see well enough.

I don't know if that helps in any way, but it's what I've come to embrace - and I actually do love striving to see a little more clearly but being OK living my life the best I can in my own relative darkness.

Matt W. said...

This reminds me a bit of Mother Teresa, who had a magnificent manifestation of Christ to start her ministry, but then felt after that nothing, and who's journals are filled with writings about this feeling of being alone and "forsaken". I admire her even the more for persisting in the dark.

You've been through a lot lately, and I know being in primary can feel like eating spiritual twinkies every week. I also know you just spent every week working your tail off for school and for Savior of the World.

When I hear the word shine, I think of my mission, and the shoes we wore and how dingy they'd get. I think about how every once in a while, we'd shine the shoes, and all the crap would come off and we'd be left with a nice clean shoe.

I think that's what the Gospel can be like. We get all this crap weighing us down, and it's up to us to scrape it off and get back to the fundamental shoe. I don't know a lot of things, but I am satisfied that I know enough/believe enough to make up for it.

Let's do lunch sometime. If I can't shine your spiritual shoes, but at least let me walk a mile beside you.

Mormon Heretic said...

Clean Cut, congrats on your graduation!

Kurt Manwaring said...

Congratulations on your graduation!