The Essence of Life’s Journey
By Elizabeth Else of Port Orchard, WA, USA
a. Listen carefully to your own journey as a people, for it is a sacred journey and it has taught you many things you must know for the journey yet to come.
b. Listen to its teachings and discover anew its principles. Do not yearn for times that are past, but recognize that you have been given a foundation of faithful service, even as you build a foundation for what is yet to be. —Doctrine and Covenants 162:2a, b
Death is a difficult part of life. When we lose someone, we go through multiple stages of grief: denial, anger, sadness and, we hope, eventually an acceptance of our loss. Recently a dear friend died. Her past few years were filled with doctor visits and many medical treatments. In the last few months, disease ravaged her body. I mourned her loss but it relieved me that she no longer lived in pain. I missed her.
Then, one night I had a dream. Mundane earthly concerns preoccupied me. My friend appeared and immediately I noticed how healthy she looked. Her skin was clear, her hair dark and full, and she stood upright as I had known her many years ago. But she also had something more—an inner light and an intense sense of purpose. I wanted her to stay and talk. Although I knew she loved me, she had to be about the purposes of her new life. I had to let her go. It was a bittersweet experience.
I imagine this was my way to deal with her loss. It was as though the essence of who she was in relationship to me lived on in me, which both comforted and challenged me.
I firmly believe in an afterlife with God. The beautiful images I saw in my dream were most likely only symbolic of the beautiful life I next will live. My friend’s radiant inner purpose reminded me that I must put my earthly issues in perspective and spend my energies on what matters most in Christ’s mission.
Though we journey through the valley of the shadow of death, in our own lives or with a dying friend, the Lord is with us and we are the Lord’s.
Prayer for Peace
God who journeys with us, we thank you for the comfort of others. We thank you for assurances of peace in our lives yet to be.
Spiritual Practice: Spirit–Centered Balance
As you walk or drive today, notice the unlikely places where you see growth, life, color, beauty. Review your daily schedule and habits. When and how do you attend to your spiritual center, and how does beauty “color” new life growing from that center? How do you balance intimacy with God’s Spirit with active ministries of discipleship? Prayerfully reflect and write about your need to learn “spirit-centered balance” that allows you to live as an oak of righteousness, a repairer of ruins in God’s world.
Today, God, I will comfort someone who is on a difficult journey by sharing the peace of Christ.