the disciple 078

The Pattering Of Little Feet

TheDiscipleMD

A number of years ago I awoke from a good nights sleep to a familiar sound. It was a sound of days long past. As I lay in bed it took me a moment to recognize it. It was the sound of the “pattering of little feet.” It was the noise made by the sound of my two-year old granddaughter’s feet running on the hardwood floor outside my bedroom door. I smiled! Funny how something so small as a common sound can take you back in time! That “common”sound brought me back to the days of when I was a young father. I awoke to that sound almost every day. Back then, I must admit that oft-times I didn’t appreciate it. In fact, sometimes I dreaded it! It meant the kids were up, which meant I was “probably” going to have to get up out of the warm bed. That morning, Grandma, was already up and serving to the needs of our granddaughter who had spent the night. I sat up on my elbows in bed and listened a little closer to that beautiful noise. I was already late for work but I lingered for an extra moment and savored the sound that has long since left my home. I miss that sound! Unfortunately, I must confess that I also “missed” the beauty of it when I was a young Father.

Little Feet

By Edgar A. Guest

There is no music quite so sweet

As patter of a baby’s feet.

Who never hears along the hall

The sound of tiny feet that fall

Upon the floor so soft and low

As eagerly they come or go,

Has missed, no matter who he be,

Life’s most inspiring symphony.

 

There is a music of the spheres

Too fine to ring in mortal ears,

Yet not more delicate and sweet

Than pattering of baby feet;

Where’er I hear that pit-a-pat

Which falls upon the velvet mat,

Out of my dreamy nap I start

And hear the echo in my heart.

 

‘Tis difficult to put in words

The music of the summer birds,

Yet far more difficult a thing–

A lyric for that pattering;

Here is a music telling me

Of golden joys that are to be;

Unheralded by horns and drums,

To me a regal caller comes.

 

Now on my couch I lie and hear

A little toddler coming near,

Coming right boldly to my place

To pull my hair and pat my face,

Undaunted by my age or size,

Nor caring that I am not wise–

A visitor devoid of sham

Who loves me just for what I am.

 

This soft low music tells to me

In just a minute I shall be

Made captive by a thousand charms,

Held fast by chubby little arms,

For there is one upon the way

Who thinks the world was made for play.

Oh, where’s the sound that’s half so sweet

As pattering of baby feet?

I know it is hard to be a young mother or father. It seems the kids will never grow up…but they do! So, as you go through life, remember, savor the “moments.” Savor the small gifts from God that come through the beauty of a tiny child. When next you find yourself lying in bed some early morning and you hear echoes of tiny small feet outside your bedroom door; relish the sound of it! Trust me; you will miss it when it is gone. You will miss the sound of the “pattering of little feet” and everything that came with it!

 

castaway

Who Knows What The Tide Could Bring!

TheDiscipleMD
Five years ago or so I wrote these words in my journal:

“… I am satisfied that there is nothing I could be doing that is of more importance than the work of the Lord. I am grateful each day for life and liberty.”

Sometimes it is easy to take each day for granted. There always seems to be something that can get us down. Over the years  I have heard some people say, “I’m just grateful to get up each morning and be blessed with another day of life”, or words to that effect. Perhaps that statement sounds trite, but if so, it should be a trite statement  that we incorporate into our lives. Each day we have in this life really is a blessing. As one company advertising campaign states, “Life comes at you fast!” I can certainly testify to the veracity of that slogan. My life is certainly passing before me as if it were a dream.

Both good and bad things happen on a daily basis. Often we take for granted  the good things in our lives until we lose it, such as good health.   The sun will set today and the sun will rise announcing the dawn of a new day tomorrow. Each new day gives to each of us a new opportunity to count our blessings and a new day to bless the lives of others.  As much as one might dislike the character Scarlett O’Hara, from the Civil War novel ‘Gone with the Wind’, you have to admire her optimism. After Rhett Butler tells her he “doesn’t give a damn” about her, he turns and walks out on her. She then gives this final glib statement, which is the last line of the book. “I’ll go home, and I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day”.

Well, tomorrow is another day and who knows what experiences it holds for each of us. Let us be optimistic and greet each day with a prayer of thanksgiving in our hearts. In so doing we will live happier lives and be a blessing to all those we come into contact with. Tom Hanks played the main character in the movie “Castaway” (2000).  After being stranded on a desert island for a number of years,  the tide washes up a large section of a portable toilet which he uses as a sail to get off the island. After getting back to civilization he is quoted as saying,  “…I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing, because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring!” He had learned that each day is a new adventure bringing with it renewed hope.   Indeed,  who knows what tomorrow’s tide will bring to each of us!

 

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Mother, I’m Still Trying to Make It To You!

TheDiscipleMD

Sometimes as I am driving along a song will come on the radio that will remind me of my mother.  She left this world more than ten years ago but her powerful influence still lingers in my life. I was fortunate to have been born to a wonderful mother who enjoyed her “job”. In fact, I’m pretty sure she would be offended that I used the word “job” to describe Motherhood, because she never looked at it that way. She loved being a Mom! My Dad has told me many times that being a mother was all she wanted out of life. Some people might think that shows some lack of ambition. I think it shows her tremendous understanding of how important a role that a mother plays in shaping, not only a child, but also a society. I don’t think any serious student of the social sciences can deny that a mother’s influence on a child and society can be powerful for both the good and the bad. With rare exception, my observation is that mothers have a tremendous influence for the good. A couple of years ago a talk was given by Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy. He quoted a poem written by Elizabeth Akers Allen.

Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!

I am so weary of toil and of tears, …

Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,

Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you! …

Over my heart, in the days that are flown,

No love like mother-love ever has shone; …

None like a mother can charm away pain

From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.

Slumber’s soft calms o’er my heavy lids creep;

Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep!

I think there’s nothing quite like, the warmth of a mother’s arms. I know that I miss the secure feeling it gave me, and I’m a grown man. I have no clue as to the enormous responsibilities and burden that come with motherhood. I only observe its influence and results. But I’m sure that it is God-given, and that all mothers are given their special “guardian” angel to help them on their way, because it’s just too hard and wonderful of a call, to do alone. I could try to write stories of my Mother that might best describe her life, but I would need several journals to do so. Instead, she is best described by the “feeling” that swells in my heart each time her name is mentioned. The feeling is indescribable, but is best captured by this thought:

“Perhaps the reason we respond so universally to our mothers’ love is because it typifies the love of our Savior. As Joseph F. Smith said, “The love of a true mother comes nearer [to] being like the love of God than any other kind of love” (“The Love of Mother,” Improvement Era, Jan. 1910, 278). (“Mother Told Me”, Bradley D. Foster, GC, April, 2010)

So, to you Mom, the one who could “charm away my pain”, I’m laboring hard each day here on earth, because I’m still trying to make it to you!

 

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Splashed On! (By The ‘Great And Spacious Building’)

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I was handed a copy of a very interesting article that appeared in the Winter 2011 BYU magazine. It was an article written by M. Sue Bertin entitled “The Dangerous Digital Vortex”. The article addresses the danger we all face in this technological age. Particularly children. She spoke, not only of the importance of filtering what comes into our homes, but more importantly how communication between parents and children can lead to a “spiritual” firewall of protection. I have found over the years, that for some parents, the moral decay has become so frightening that they wish to “withdraw” from the world in which we live in hopes of protecting their families and loved ones. I certainly can understand why someone might feel that way. We live in troubling times. We want to live “in the world but not of the world”. That is easy to say but hard to do when the world is invading our homes. What is a parent to do? What is an individual to do? Do we buy a plot of land, turn it into a compound, and build a fence around it? And although we might not be physically able to do so, are we supposed to do that on a spiritual level? Let me share with you a paragraph from the above article that helped shed some light on the subject. It was thought-provoking to me. The author wrote:

“I really believe that this is the fire (I believe he meant the dangers of our technology) this generation has to pass through says Knutson. (He is an associate professor of computer science). “It’s the river of filthiness in Lehi’s dream. He said the iron rod was on the riverbank, so when you’re clinging to the rod, you’re very close to the river. It’s muddy, and you get splashed. But you can’t let go and move further from the filthiness. You’re where you’re supposed to be. It’s not your location that’s safe or unsafe–it’s how you behave despite your proximity to temptation. We cannot withdraw from the world but instead are called to be in it while we hold on to the scriptures, good parents, others who are godly, and most of all, the Savior”.

This article sent me back to the Book of Mormon to re-read Lehi’s dream. I guess, in my mind, it never occurred to me that someone who let go of the rod did so in order to distance themselves away from the “filthy river” and “spacious building”. And if they did, wouldn’t that be the right thing? But, in reading the dream again it clearly states that we need to “hold to the iron rod”; not let go and try to go it alone or do it our way. In Nephi we read this:

“And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood. And I beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree..And I saw …concourses of people, many of whom are pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led to the tree….and they did …commence in path…and it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; year, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wondered off and were lost… I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; an they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.” (1 Nephi 8:19-24).

We receive directions and counsel from our leaders. And I don’t recall any counsel to date that says we need to “withdraw” our families from the world. Maybe that day will come. Maybe, the people inside the “great and spacious” building, who are both young and old, male and female who are “in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit” need to see those who are “holding to the rod of iron”. Maybe some of them, upon seeing examples of righteous people, will leave the “great and spacious” building, cross the filthy river, and grab the iron rod. Perhaps the people of the Lord need to be visible to the world so that they can see that when you partake of the fruits of the gospel, that it brings joy!

We need to diligent and vigorous in guarding ourselves and our families from the influence of the adversary! However, going into hibernation is probably not the best answer. Because in the end, that season will end and we, our children, and loved ones will need to wake up, come out of the cave and find food for nourishment. And understanding and experiencing the dangers involved, will prepare, and give to us the ability to grasp on even tighter to the rod of the gospel. We might get splashed on from time to time, but the redemption of our Savior will ultimately make us clean, if we repent and come unto him.

 

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