I've spent the last hour or so doing what I do every day--skimming over the various EdTech blogs to see if there is anything new or of interest. Now before anyone says anything, YES, I know about RSS feeds. I just like going out and visiting the different sites. I found feedreaders boring.
At any rate, I came across a post on Shrubbloggers about Angie Arndt. Now I have to warn you--her story is tragic, actually, that's not even strong enough to describe it, and it is graphic. Suffice it to say that this sweet looking girl was murdered by the people at her day care. As I read the article (and I don't know why I did), all I could imagine was someone trying to make my Natalie sit still. Yeah, good luck with that. When I finished reading, I recognized that I was crying.
I'm not sure. I'm not sure at all. I felt for little Angie. I got scared for Natalie (and John and Andrew as well) for having to grow up in this unsafe world. It helped me to realize that my own problems are pretty insignificant in relation to others; I've got it pretty good. Maybe I just realized how good I do have it. I don't know. But it all hit at once, and there I was. And I could see that I could do so much more. To be honest, I don' t know how the synapses fired to get me to go from this little girl to how seriously I'm taking life or not, but it did.
So I got up from my chair, closed the door to my office, and fell to my knees. I thanked the Lord for the many, many blessings he gives me daily. I have a fantastic wife who gives much more than she gets, and three children who want their dad to play more and worry about work less. I have a job at the institution I always wanted to teach at, and I spend my day working on all the wrong things. So I rededicated myself to living my life. Not just going through the motions, mind you, but living. When I'm at work, I'm going to work hard. And when I'm at home, I'm going to leave work at work and play hard. And I'm going to ask the Lord's help in all of this. If I've shown anything over the 38 years of my life, it's that I need his help. When I try to do things on my own I mess them up.
When I was finished, I picked up a copy of my scriptures that I have in my office. I just randomly opened them up, and this is what I read:
5 For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.
6 Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.
7 And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.
8 Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.
9 And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught.
10 For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.
I know a lot of people believe in personal revelation, the fact that God will reveal his will to us as individuals, and that he will let us know what he wants us to do. I think this is what happened here. I think Heavenly Father was letting me know He heard me and that He was willing to bless me in doing so as long as I did my part.
I believe there is more revelation out there as well. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I belive in modern day prophets--just like Moses and Isaiah. I believe that Gordon B. Hinckley, the President of our church, is such a man. Now let me be clear, I type the word believe, but the actual fact is I know that he is a prophet. I accept that with my whole heart and soul. I also accept members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as apostles just like Peter, James, John, Luke, and Matthew from the New Testament. One of those men, L. Tom Perry, said something that goes along with the scripture I read above and my own "rededication" to my life and work. He said (I have this quote hanging on my office wall):
We should not underestimate the Lord’s power and his willingness to bless our lives if we ask with a sincere heart and real intent. He has instructional designs and learning theories that the world’s educational psychologists haven’t even imagined yet.
So there you have it. I rededicate myself both to living my life to the fullest and to asking the Lord for his help in doing it.
I pray we can all do the same.