The Spiritually Spotted

leopard

TheDiscipleMD

The prophet Jeremiah was given direction by the Lord to prophecy to Israel and Judah of their wickedness. Specifically he was to tell the King and Queen of the their impending doom. It is recorded that if they “say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me?… ” Jeremiah was to answer, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil” (Jeremiah 13:22-23).

From those verses came the saying “a leopard cannot change his spots”. And while this saying is generally true, I have unfortunately found that the physical man is not subject to this rule. Almost twenty years ago I noticed a “spot” that started to form on the back of my right hand. It stood out on my skin and over time became a rather large “spot”. I became acutely aware that I was becoming a “spotted” man. They are called “age spots” or the more ominous name of “liver spots”. Or if you prefer, the scientific name of “solar lentigines”. No matter how you spell it, or say it, you really don’t like them. They “are flat, gray, brown or black spots. They vary in size and usually appear on the face, hands, shoulders and arms — areas most exposed to the sun. Though age spots are very common in adults older than age 40, they can affect younger people as well” (Mayoclinic.com).I now have several “solar lentigines” on the back of both hands as well as a scattered few on different areas of my now aging body. However, I prefer to call them something different. Instead of “age spots” I call them spiritual “wisdom” spots.

Like the physical “spots” that start to appear with the aging body, spiritual “wisdom spots” also begin to appear on those who have traveled down this life’s path. These “spots” are gained over time and with experience. But unlike “liver spots” of the body, these spiritual spots are desirable. Some, who have uncommon trials for their age, get them younger than others, but most of spiritual “wisdom” spots come from prolonged exposure to the heat of the daily tasks of life. As the soul experiences both the joys and trials that come with mortality, lessons are learned and wisdom is gained. It is wise to listen to those who are “spotted” up with the experience of life. It is now common place to have a GPS in our automobiles. Most are now completely dependant on the directions that are given by a voice who we trust will lead us to our desired destination. And because we know by experience that it works, we follow without question. It would do us well to develop the same confidence in the “spiritually spotted”.

It is not required that we ask the Lord or others regarding all aspects of our lives. In fact I’m not sure if that is a healthy way to live. After all “it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; (D&C 58:26-27). But it is important to listen to those who are spiritually “spotted” so as to avoid the consequences of unwise actions. The “spiritually spotted” include the apostles and prophets, as well as other seasoned good men and women that come into our lives. These “spiritually spotted” men and women of God don’t visibly have spots but you can tell who they are by the way they live their lives and the warmth of their spirit. The book of Ecclesiastics, or the preacher, captured the answer to recognizing a wise “spotted ” spiritual man.

“Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed” (Ecclesiastics 8:1).

Look for the shining faces of those who are close to God. Like the GPS system, they are those who you can trust to lead you back to our home. As the years come and go, and those age “spots” appear, let them be a reminder of the “spiritually” spotted who we should follow. When that day comes, I am in hopes that we will have lived our lives such that we will be one who is easily “spotted” as a servant of the Lord

 

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