Sunday, October 18, 2009

Entering God's Kingdom

I went to Frightmares this weekend and couldn't help but notice the hurry that everyone was in. I kept wondering "why the rush" and "what for"? People ran to get in line, they ran to the restrooms, they ran to get a bite to eat and they ran to catch a show. There was so much running going on and so many stimulating distractions that people seemed to be in their own little worlds forgetting about all those around them. You could see it on their faces "what if we don't get there on time?", "what if the line is too long", "what if there aren't enough seats?". You could read it on their minds as they drove strollers over feet, cut in front of people without apologizing, bumped shoulders without any remorse or acknowledgment. Everyone was out for themselves and no one seemed to lend a helping hand to a fellow stranger in need. I myself became an unfortunate victim after waiting in a line for 45 minutes to see a show. Initially were were 6th in line, however that soon began to change as groups of people slowly crept under the ropes and squoze around garbage cans hoping to be unnoticed. Soon a line had formed next to our line and people pushed and shoved to be in the front and slowly work their way into the main line. Everyone in line had a wandering eye letting others know that they better not try anything funny or they'd get what they had coming. I couldn't believe the tension. When the signal was given for the line to file into the seating area I saw grown adults jump over garbage cans, climb gates, and hurl themselves around baby strollers while pushing and shoving their way to get a seat. For being 6th in line we almost did not get a seat, it was complete madness. It was easy to see how quickly people could get trampled and killed is such a stampede as that one.

As I flung my child over the bench in front of us to reserve two seats, people came in from both sides trying to sit on my child and forcefully take my spot. So I jumped over the bench and fought to reserve our spot but was unable to get anyone to slide over for my husband who was behind me. We couldn't even sit together. Suddenly a women to my left leans over and begins to yell at me. "If you hadn't have flown over the bench like a crazy woman I could have had enough room for my entire family!" I noticed that she and her 6 older children who not only took up the entire bench and sat on my child, were also part of the group that butted in line and had sneaked in from the side. I couldn't help but defend myself by saying "We waited in line 45 minutes and were 6th in line and almost didn't get a seat, which isn't fair at all." She rolled her eyes at me and said something under her breath and I though to myself, "How mean. Does she not see my cute little three year old boy? How could she yell at me like that in front of my son? He is so innocent and excited to see the show and didn't need to experience a rude woman like that." It made me sad and I couldn't understand.

Later that night I saw a TV program where grandparents were being publicly harassed and persecuted for a crime their daughter had committed. Complete strangers drove up to their home and threatened to kill them in front of little children. It made me sad and I though "What is this world coming to?"

It was then that I realized why the Savior time and time again taught us in the scriptures to be like little children.

Mark 10:15 "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little achild, he shall not enter therein."

Matt 19:14 "But Jesus said, aSuffer little bchildren, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Matt 18:3 "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little achildren, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. "

Henry B. Eyring said in his talk, “As a Child,” Ensign, May 2006,

"But King Benjamin, who understood as well as any mortal what it meant to be a man of strength and courage, makes it clear that to be like a child is not to be childish. It is to be like the Savior, who prayed to His Father for strength to be able to do His will and then did it. Our natures must be changed to become as a child to gain the strength we must have to be safe in the times of moral peril.

Here is King Benjamin’s stirring description of what that change to become like a child is and how it comes to us:

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” 6

We are safe on the rock which is the Savior when we have yielded in faith in Him, have responded to the Holy Spirit’s direction to keep the commandments long enough and faithfully enough that the power of the Atonement has changed our hearts. When we have, by that experience, become as a child in our capacity to love and obey, we are on the sure foundation."

I thought about the woman at Lagoon who yelled at me and remembered how later throughout the show she couldn't help but smile at my son who was clapping to the music and winning the hearts of the dancers on stage who kept blowing kisses at him.

Children are so humble and submissive and can bring peace and a smile to stubborn or quick tempered adults. We can learn a lot from our children and must remember that they already have a place in the God's kingdom as they are perfect. We are the ones who have work to do. Instead of getting angry at our neighbor when faced with conflict we need to remember that they once were little children and will always be God's children. When we are quick to love and help our neighbors we become like little children in God's eyes. In the next life it won't matter that we got the seat we wanted but it will matter how we treated others on our way to our seat.

I challenge everyone to pay extra attention to your neighbors and fellow man in all your busy day activities. Let's not be in such a hurry to get from point A to point B that we step on others to get there. Lets be good Samaritans and more like our little ones; meek, submissive and humble.

Good Luck!


The Bell Family said...

I just want you to know that I love this blog! You are an incredible person with an incredible talent. I needed to be reminded how precious my children are. I cannot believe what happened to you at frightmares. I hope I would have handled the same way!

Lindsey said...

I'm glad you love it here! Thanks so much for the kind words :)