The Sunny Side of the Street: 7-12-2010
I felt the need to pray intensely on Friday night. As a result of that prayer, I studied the scriptures intensely Saturday and Sunday. As a result of scripture study, I felt the need to pray more intensely, and did so. And in this process, in just a few days, the clouds on my life lifted. “Oh, how praying rests the weary – prayer can change the night to day!” (“Did you think to pray?” Hymnsno. 140) I am amazed at how quickly this process could begin.
And now, I find myself on the sunny side of the street. My project, which up till now had consisted of a few interviews, has exploded – this Friday I will meet with 40 Xhosa Baptist secondary school students, and in the following Fridays I hope to meet with another group of 40 or more. On one of my upcoming Sundays, I will visit a Baptist congregation in which everyone is Baptist – actually, through the generosity of the woman who couldn't give me directions the other day. As I was walking to a Baptist service this week, they saw me and gave me a ride, and I learned that her husband is a Baptist minister in an entirely Xhosa congregation. They were excited to hear about my study, and invited me along for next Sunday or the Sunday following.
Today, I had a fantastic interview, and during the interview found that I will indeed be able to finish my research study and do a good job with it – it was in this pivotal interview that some of the other opportunities opened up, and it was a good interview in and of itself.
We had our mid-semester retreat this weekend as well, which was also nice. I was able to get enough to eat, and to chase away some of my fears about my project. It was also good to spend time with the rest of my research group. Interestingly, the retreat prompted some of the questions that prompted me to pray on Friday night, and again (especially) on Saturday.
“Draw nigh unto the Lord, and he will draw nigh unto you,” “Ask, and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” - these verses have been verified in my life this week, and it has provided me with a far greater measure of happiness.
This process required some change - I had to face up to the realization that risking my life to climb mountains unnecessarily jeopardizes my future family, and my ability to fulfill my mortal responsibilities. I cannot afford the risk of the Seven Summits. Ah, well – like tornado chasing, I'm afraid the summits are things I will not experience in this life. C'est la vie! The things I have chosen are better.
In all, though, that's what I wanted: knowledge, information, strength in doing what's right; some goals are really a small price to pay for that feeling. And I've wondered about the Summits for some time now, so it wasn't too much of a surprise. I'm sure my life will have enough excitement and risk as it is – heaven knows that it won't be boring!
In all - “the rover has crossed over: If I never had a cent, I'd be rich as Rockefeller: gold dust at my feet, on the sunny side of the street!”