Return And Bring Me Word

Posted on October 15, 2012

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(Last week.)

Once again, the supervisor has put off starting my son at the seasonal job that is crucial for his savings for the mission that starts in less than 5 months. As this is only one of about six serious, swirling, swamping problems, I decided to retreat today to the mountain and consider my life and God’s plan. I was hoping for a panoramic view.

Moses Receiving Knowledge at the Burning Bush, Elden Tefft
(CC) Patrick Emerson

I don’t know what took Moses to the mountain when God laid the world before his gaze, but I’ve wanted to hear God say, “Behold, thou art my (daughter), wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands.” I’m not angling for a view of the entirety of creation, though that would be nice; I’d just like to see the timeline of my own.

What I got instead was a narrow snapshot and an invitation to return.

It’s interesting, as I was especially aware today, that when God created the earth he did it in defined stages. He offered a set of terse, general instructions for a preparatory portion of the word and an invitation, when that work was finished, to “return, and bring me word.” In the Genesis account, the Father “saw that it was good” as each stage was finished, and I’m sure that is part of the conversation that occurred when those who worked returned and brought him word. When that conversation concluded, he offered another set of equally terse, general instructions, and the same invitation.

I’ve often pondered that general instructions allow a great deal of individual latitude in accomplishment. How to divide the day and the night? I suppose there was discussion and consensus, experimentation and reconfiguring. I suppose it took a considerable time – even for a world existing under some other definition of time. I don’t get the impression that the Father was given to micro-managing. It has often made me feel much better about the considerable leeway he feels comfortable giving me in finding solutions for my own vexing stewardships.

Today the principle of limited delegation caught my attention. With limited stewardship comes limited information, and vice versa. It was a strangely liberating idea. Do what I’ve been asked to do, and return and bring him word. Nothing more.

At one point I had a flash of insight, that my current wrestling was like Jehovah throwing himself on the ground after having figured out how to divide light and darkness, land and water, and moaning despondently, “But nobody can LIVE here. It’s not READY yet. And I have NO IDEA how to do EVERYTHING. Ahhhhhhh!”

I walked outside into the sunlight and laughed heartily at myself. I decided to call my labors the third day and to accept the Lord’s statement that “it is well.” I will be back for further instruction. It would appear that I’m going to build this creation that is my life now the same way everyone else has before me: in stages.

(This week.)

After sitting for two days and soaking up the further light and knowledge I’ve so diligently sought, I was shocked at the way the past days had unfolded. My son received word Friday from the supervisor – finally – and was to begin work on Monday, with a twist: it was only to be for three weeks. And then the weekend’s news had shaken our world: the mission we expected to begin in February, allowing him months of work to save, could begin as soon as possible.

When the announcement of the age change for missionaries was made, our eyes met and held magnetically. We had both done the monetary calculations from the job news the day before. He would earn enough to get his wisdom teeth out and outfit himself for the mission in the short three weeks he was to work. That was it. The months we had been expecting more work until he put in his papers had evaporated (at the words of his supervisor) the day before the months required for him to wait evaporated (at the words of a prophet).

We both knew it simultaneously: the Lord was asking a leap of faith. He was to go now.

And I knew something else from my thoughts last week. It was just this day’s work that we had to worry about. There would be more instructions when we had completed the work of this day. Although this kind of leap of faith was not in my plans, nor was it my preference, (there are a hundred other kinds of leaps of faith that I prefer) – still, I wasn’t tempted to lie on the ground and wail that I didn’t know how to do it all.

Such is the peace of the words of the prophets. I love General Conference.

  • Did you receive a validation in General Conference for a feeling you’ve had?
  • Are you ever tempted to approach the whole of your work at once and be overwhelmed?

Cross-posted at Real Intent

Posted in: Real Intent