To be honest, I am just beginning to understand. I don't have a full grasp on this yet, but I am anxious to learn more. Right now, as has been obvious in many of my recent posts, I am working on making sure that our creativity ladder is leaning against the right wall:
“ ‘There are many who struggle and climb and finally reach the top of the ladder, only to find that it is leaning against the wrong wall’. How can you ensure that your creative ladder is leaning against the right wall? Heavenly Father’s purpose for the artist (and there is an artist of some sort in each of us) is to use his or her creativity to help to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of his children." -Russell M. BallardI was reading a wonderful talk the other day. He mentioned a news article in which some dogs that learned to chase mechanical rabbits. Are we often chasing mechanical rabbits?
“I assume most of us here today are “good people” and doing reasonably “good” things. I fear however, that we may not be ordering the better things from the good things in our lives --- especailly in our marriages and families. We are busy --- most of us with good things. But in reality we may be chasing things that will not (cannot) build homes of Zion.
Elder A. Theodore Tuttle told of a story about greyhounds in Britain who don’t know a real rabbit when they see one. These hounds had chased a mechanical rabbit around the recetrack for so long, that when a real rabbit bounded across the track, the dogs didn’t even give it a second look. Of this experience, Ashely Montague wrote:
‘Stupid, eh? But sad too, this perverting of the natural instincts....We chase mechanical rabbits, too. We chase paychecks, and don’t give a second look to the glint of the rising sun on a snow-topped peak. We chase our way through the appointments of a crowded desk calendar, and fail to take time to chat with the next-door neighbor or to drop in on a sick friend. We chase social pleasures on a glittering, noisy treadmill---and ignore the privilege of a quite hour telling bedtime stories to an inoccent-eyed child. We chase prestige and wealth, and don’t recognize the real opportunities for joy that cross our paths...
‘Race on, you poor, blind over-civilized hounds. You’ll never catch your rabbit until you learn to recognize a genuine one. But, you’ll have company in your race; the company of unnumbered men who’ll never catch the joy they chase until they, too, learn to recognize a genuine one.’ ” -Mathew O Richardson
I recently remembered a book that a friend of mine recommended a couple of years ago. (It's called Arm the Children: Faith's Response to a Violent World by Arthur Henry King. Thank-you to Greg for recommending it!) I read it then, and liked it, but I must admit that a lot of it went over my head. I wasn't ready for it yet. As I've been focusing on teaching my kids to look for the real around them, I remembered that this book had something to do with that. I picked it up today. It turns out that this book has everything to do with it. It's about how to teach children to discern truth and the real. The foreword is written by one of my favorite authors/philosophers of our time - Terry Warner. This foreword was packed full of the things that I have been trying to express (of course he does it so much better).
He used an analogy about ordinary light - it is energy radiated in random frequencies and phases, the pulses bump into and interfere with one another and it quickly dissipates. However, it is possible to amplify light by coordinating it's phases and frequencies. This results in a powerful laser. This laser can slice through metal, light a spot miles away, and perform precision surgery.
I loved how this applies to getting rid of the distractions in our lives. The distractions are what defuse our energy, keep us running to and fro wondering what to do, keep us from being in the reality of the moment, keep us from living!
Terry Warner went on to explain,
Using the metaphor of the laser, we might say that when we receive the light of truth, when we are in tune with it, as it were, there is nothing in us that duffuses or obliterates it. Instead we resonate with it. To the degree that we do, our eye will be single to the glory of God. Our whole bodies will be filled with light. We will be yielding ourselves to his law, his power, and his love. Instead of merely receiving information (what a parltry conceptions this is!), we will, quite literary, be informed: we will in other words be taking on the form of the truth, coming under the formative influence of the Being who is its source, changing so that we are more like him, more "of the truth."Isn't that what we want for our children? For ourselves? Why do we worry so much about filling their heads with information - when we should be leading them to flow towards truth - to see it, to feel it, to want it.
What video game, movie, toy, silly book, or other distraction is worth giving that up for? I am excited to re-read Arm the Children and get a better idea about how to inspire this longing and search for the true.
In the mean time, I will continue to get rid of distractions, experience things with the children (more on this later) and expose them to truth and beauty (more on this later too).
In case I didn't put enough quotes into this post, I have to add one more:
Oh, and in case everyone thinks that I am totally anti-movies, I thought I should add that I saw a new and popular movie on Monday night that I liked (The Blind Side). I'm not recommending it or anything, but it's good to know there are still uplifting ones out there!"Since all truth comes from God, when we celebrate truth in creative breakthroughs, whether in new understanding of molecular structure or in the beauty of new sculpture or a new painting or new poetry, we are acknowledging the resplendent order in God’s universe.
....[Enoch] trusted the Lord and went on to become the greatest city builder in human history. His city-state was the only instance in recorded human history when the righteousness of a people did not relapse. But he began by feeling inadequate and wondering aloud what the Lord had for him to do. Yet, most importantly, he trusted the Lord and aligned himself with the Lord. Then his creative genius and gifts were given special expressions, and many were blessed!" -Neal A. Maxwell