Monday, April 16, 2012

"Self-Imposed Isolation"

"Eventually you will find yourself ready to
kneel and pray aloud. You will find how good it feels to
express your feelings and needs to God. You will feel you
have reopened a conversation with someone who will
always answer you, not always with a yes but always with
love. At last you will begin to experience the healing
effects of breaking out of self-imposed isolation."

Self-Isolation is an interesting concept in light of that famous footsteps poem. I don't think God ever really withdraws from us.  we can shut out the Holy Ghost from our hearts but he is always right outside the door, so to speak, waiting for us to let him back in.  We isolate ourselves by holding up something in front of our eyes so closely that it blocks out the reality that the Savior is standing right beside us. We isolate ourselves by closing our eyes tightly, by turning our head, by plugging our ears, by screaming to be "left alone" because sometimes dealing with the truth seems to hard.

But I think it seems most hard when we don't see hope for ourselves.  If all we see are our failures and mistakes, then its hard to feel God's love, hard to accept that he accepts us, hard to be okay with being human.

Consider Alma's words to Corianton, who, of all the characters in the scriptures, is probably our best example of a recovering sex addict (though there is not suggestion that he was addicted, only that he allowed himself to be tempted away by a harlot--which is kind of how it starts for all of us, right?"

 30 O my son, I desire that ye should deny the ajustice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his bmercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in chumility.

I must be humble in order to see God in my life, in order to bring myself out of isolation.  I appreciate that Alma exhorted his son not only to focus on the justice of God, but also on his mercy and his long-suffering.  These are the two characteristics of God that allow the atonement to work in my life, but they are also the two that I have to choose to take advantage of.  God won't save me in my sins, nor will he force me to repent, but he will be merciful when Ido repent, and he will suffer my infirmities, weaknesses, and habits as long as it takes for me to turn to him.

I am turning to him today.

"The action required in step 2 is simply to become willing to practice believing in the love and mercy of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the accessibility and blessing of the Holy Ghost."


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