Sunday, March 3, 2013
I like to listen to old BYU speeches on my phone (at speeches.byu.edu) when I am cleaning and the kids are busy with things. I listened to one the other day called "Living a Reverent Life." It made me ponder on the importance of reverence.
He said it was possible to be boisterous and reverent at the same time since reverence is so much more than a behavior. Reverence is how we feel about God. It made me realize that as I come to know God, and become re-acquainted with His infinite love, I am better able to see those around me as He sees them.
I mentioned to the kids this morning that if we could lift the veil for a moment and remember each other before we came to earth, we would remember the things we had gone through together, the help we had given one another as we developed our spirits and in our fight against evil. We would stand in awe of one another and in great love. The idea of speaking rudely to one another or showing disrespect would seem absurd.
As we were talking about some of these things, Gem walked in with one of his mischievous looks on his face. One of my nicknames for him is "Stinker," so as he walked in with that look on his face, I said, "Hi Stinker!" But at that moment, with the vision of who he was so fresh in my mind, the name didn't seem quite appropriate, so I said to the kids, "That name doesn't quite fit with what we've been talking about does it? I think from now on I will call him General." They all thought this was really funny, of course, as he was giggling and being so silly. I kept doing it in fun, but the interesting thing was that it was a reminder to me of who he really was - and the kids were reminded as well.
It made me reflect on the fact that if we actually treat our children as the great spirits that they are, they may just start treating each other that way. A little after our talk, one of the kids started teasing his sister. I asked him if he remembered who he was teasing. They both smiled as though it was funny, but he did stop teasing and they did seem a little more kind.
Sometimes I have a hard time differentiating between appropriate boisterous behavior and inappropriate, irreverent behavior. This realization of what reverence is, has been a great help to me. I really dislike silly, loud, "movie" talk at the dinner table. Sometimes I have wondered if I am just "no fun" when they are obviously having a great time laughing. It occurred to me, that perhaps I don't feel comfortable with it because they are acting below who they are, and they are not showing respect to the work that went into the meal and the opportunity we have to be together to edify and uplift one another.
In contrast to that, this morning. Bud, Little Miss and I were singing upbeat primary songs while the little ones danced and jumped and laughed and fell. It was very boisterous and loud, but it felt reverent. Every time we tried to stop singing, Gem would put his hand on our faces and grunt for us to sing some more. Sometimes one of them would cross the line into irreverence by pushing or tripping a sibling in fun. I would remind them not to do that and they controlled themselves and continued to have a great time. Sometimes Gem would sit in between songs and fold his arms and close his eyes (indicating that he wanted us to say a prayer). To me, that shows that he was feeling the spirit and felt prayer was appropriate (kind of cute for a 20 month old!)
I have a great deal to learn about this still, but I like the vision that is starting to be open to me.
On a slightly different topic, I read a FABULOUS talk today (I actually listened to it Friday, but I loved it so much I had to print it and highlight it and take notes). It is called "A Disciple's Journey" by Bruce C. Hafen. It was very insightful and profound. It is interesting to try analyze where you may be on this "disciple's journey" and what the next step to take may be - great Sunday reading (or watching)!