Squares In A Masterpiece

Life is a masterpiece, a work of art, built by the hands of God. But sometimes it’s difficult to see this masterpiece. Unlike God, our perspective is limited. We can only see sections and slivers of this grand work. I’ll use Chuck Close as an example. He’s a pretty famous artist, well-known for his really huge portraits. He’s confined to a wheelchair, so he puts a grid on his canvas and paints one square at a time. If you look at each square individually, it’s just a bunch of really colorful boxes. But when you step back, you can see what the painting really is.

A Book of Mormon prophet named Alma gives some pretty straight forward counsel on this. He said,

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. (Alma 37:6)

Our lives usually aren’t full of spectacular events. The hand of God is more often seen in the smaller things. The things we sometimes overlook. The things that require slowing down and having patience to see.

I know that God and Jesus Christ are in our lives, and that through the small and simple things God works His miracles. The greatest miracle, I believe, is life itself. What are some of the colorful boxes in our lives? Family and friends. A rejuvinating sunrise or a peaceful sunset. The sound of birds chirping. A family dinner. An afternoon hike. The sound of rain falling. A good song on the radio. These are just a few things that come to my mind. We all have our own.

All we need to do is take a step back and see how the squares, the simple things in life, come together to form the masterpiece.

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No Giving Up

So your scars fade away
You soaked up the pain
A better person ’cause you lived through those days
And now you know what it’s like to prove
You can overcome anything that gets to you
Well it’s alright
We’re sayin’ our goodbyes
To the past and everything that ain’t right
We won’t waste another day
With all these silly things in our way

There’s no giving up now!
Do you really want to give this all away?
Can’t you ever see things in a different way
Somedays?
No giving up now!
Such a beautiful thing to throw away
You should think things through
Over and over again

No Giving Up“, by Crossfade

We’ve all had times when we’ve felt like giving up. Hard times come and go. Such is life. When those hard times do come, we should always desire to be the optimist. Look at the beauty in life. Look at the blessings we’ve been given. We alway have so much to be thankful for. When Christ came to the Americas after His resurrection, He taught many of the same things that He taught those back in the “old country.” And of course He would; it’s the same Gospel after all.

Enduring to the end is a common phrase among Latter-day Saints. It refers to living our lives in harmony with Christ’s gospel, to the best of our abilities. It involves having faith in Jesus Christ, turning to Him in all walks of life, repenting daily of our sins, and keeping God’s commandments. It is the day to day things, the little things, that add up over time.

3 Nephi 15:9

Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.

With enduring to the end, there is no giving up, now or ever. Live each day at a time. We must not dwell on the past, but instead look steadfastly unto Christ. It is through Him and only Him that we can receive eternal life.

The Poetic Corner: Rain and Perspective

So… I like writing poetry. I don’t claim to really be any good, but I enjoy it nonetheless. I started writing poetry when I was about 17. It was mostly out of boredom. Plus, I like art and I like creative writing. Poetry is sort of like mixing the two together, and it fulfills my need for both of those things in an easy, convenient way.

I wrote this… let’s see… sometime in the beginning of my senior year of high school. I was sitting in class, paying more attention to the rain outside than to the teacher. Here’s what I wrote.

Rain

rain, rain
come to stay
i need you here another day
your ever-presence soothes my waking soul
i’ve never felt so worry-free
when you show up and comfort me
these tears of joy so make my person whole

rain, rain
touch my face
the sweetest voice, this rhythmic pace
our hands embraced in love i hope is true
and when this cloudy storm is gone
your touch forever lingers on
to fill my heart with memories of you

So, if you’ve read the “About Elder Wilkins” section on the home page, you’ll know that I grew up in Wisconsin, south-eastern Wisconsin, to be a little more specific. The weather there is rather mild and often cloudy and rainy. While it doesn’t quite match up to the rainfall you might find in the pacific north-west, it still rains quite a bit.

I grew up with rain. I love rain and cloudy, stormy weather. A lot people don’t. Stereotypically, clouds and rain are known as “bad” weather. To me, however, it’s wonderful. And it’s really nothing more than a matter of perspective. Someone may hate the rain because they don’t like getting wet, because it ruins their outdoor activities, or because they don’t like the dark clouds.

I don’t mind getting wet. I like looking at the dark clouds. I love the sound of rain and the way it looks when it falls from the sky.

Life is all about perspective. We must choose how to look at what it throws at us. We can see the rain and think that it has done nothing more than ruin the day, or we can choose to see how it may add to the day and make it more beautiful.

How do you see the rain?

Praise and Adore

What I have to say is obvious
A knowledge free, for all of us are
Your Word leaves us with no excuse
The paths we choose make us who we are
There’s a breeze blowing through here tonight

So I praise and adore You
Lay it all down before You
In every way You’re beautiful
From my heart
I praise and adore
You made the world beautiful
I cannot stand and deny
You created life
And some live without it

Wake up morning sunrise in my eyes
At night the moon lights all the sky
Still some say You didn’t do a thing
The sound of hope that’s in the air
In everything, it’s everywhere
Reveals a truth that’s worth remembering
There’s a breeze blowing through here tonight

It’s true, it’s all You

And every breath I take
There’s no way
Accident created this place

Praise and Adore (Some Live Without It)” by Wavorly

Today Elder Holbrook and I took the bus down to Big Sky, Montana. It’s pretty much a ski resort town, and it’s very beautiful. When I walk, I often just look down at the ground. Definitely a bad habit to have, but it’s hard for me to help. Walking through Big Sky, however, my head was up. The mountains surrounding the little town, especially Lone Peak, are absolutely gorgeous. I spent a lot of my time taking picture after picture, wanting to capture every perspective.

God is truly an artist, and He certainly has an eye for beauty.

The beauty of the Earth, and our universe in general, is a testimony to me of God’s existence, and of His character. He has created such an amazing world for us to live in, with diverse, eye-catching geography and so many things to explore, learn about, and appreciate. With all these thoughts running through my head, the above song by Wavorly came to mind. There’s no way the world we live on was created by accident. It’s too beautiful, too perfect.

I testify that this world has a divine creator, an ultimate creator. This ultimate creator is our Father in Heaven. This world and everything in it has come from Him. Look around you. Examine the beauties of the world in which you reside. God can be found in all beauty and in all goodness.