Thursday, August 19, 2010

Walking in Water

Today I've been contemplating the need to just keep going - keep my eye on the prize.

 Many years ago I worked for BYU technical theater my freshmen year of college. I can't remember the exact department I was working in, but I remember working on Homecoming Spectacular that was to be held on in the Marriot Center there on campus. My main responsibility was to stretch tricot across giant steel frames that were to be hung from the extremely high ceiling as set pieces for the event. However, at one point in the assignment I was asked to run some gel up to a lighting tech that was on the cat walk far above the stage floor. I wasn't fond of heights, but my boss assured me I was safe and that it wasn't any different from going up the tower of stairs I climbed to run the giant arc spots light - my usual assignment.

Consenting, I began the long, exhausting climb up the stair case to the cast walk. Upon arrival I quickly went to the lighting tech to deliver my cargo. We exchanged a few words and I turned to leave. As I turned, my eyes fell to gaze at the catwalk and I froze. It was at that point that I realized that I was on a see through narrow bridge. It had holes! The floor seemed hundreds of feet below me and the people working on the set mere ants hustling around the crowded stage floor! I couldn't move. I gripped the hand rails with great determination and started to hyperventilate. My knuckles turned white with the overwhelming fear I felt; my eyes shut tight. I started to scream that I needed help.

At this point, my friend arrived in front of me. He spoke in quiet reassuring tones. He pealed my fingers from the rails and told me to squeeze his fingers. He said it was alright to leave my eye closed and that all I needed to do was to follow the sound of his voice, hold his hand tightly, and follow him. I needed to trust him. Calmly and slowly he led me across the frightening cat walk to safety. He hugged me and let me sob for a minute when we arrived at the safety of the door to the stair well. Then he helped me the rest of the way to the floor of the Marriot center, secured me a safe job on the floor, and winked at me before leaving me alone to work on me new assignment. He continued to check on me the rest of the day, just to be sure that I felt safe and was able to function. I did and I was. In fact, I worked so eshantley that I became the "tricot" crew chief on the set and me hard work paid off because I was promoted to a new position after that show was completed.

A few years ago Pres. Uchtdorf mentioned that when we feel like we can’t keep our head above water we need to focus on what has been accomplished. My thoughts went directly to Peter walking to the Savoir on water. For the past few days I’ve asked myself, “Why settle for keeping my head above water when I can choose to walk on water?” When my day got crazy busy I’d say, “Choose to walk on water.” When my heart was heavy, I’d say, “Choose to walk on water.” When I didn’t think I had the energy to go for a walk today, I’d say, “Choose to walk on water.” When I’d wonder through the kitchen and stop at the fridge, I’d say, “Choose to walk on water.”

The day was still long. I am still tired. But I am safe. Like my friend so many years ago, I had the Savior to peal my hands off the rail and gently lead me to safety as I moved through my day doing chores and thought about all the things that are on my mind; I felt the gentle whispers of the spirit encourage me to go eat healthy choices, “You can do this. I’m here with you.” I felt the reassurance that I did have the power to choose the right for me and to walk away from the fridge. I gained a better understanding that when my thoughts are wholly centered on Christ, I too, can “walk on water”. If I take my eyes off the Savoir, however, I will be frightened by the boisterous waves and winds of the world around me. I must stay focused on Christ to avoid being distracted by the things of this world – failing economies, making ends meet, health and safety of family, general conditions of the world. Worries such as these often cause me to sink.

But “immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him.” When I’m sinking the Savior will help me too. As long as I’m trying to live true to my beliefs, his almighty hand does and will, always be stretched out to help me back again. I can walk on water to safety.

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