I was answering a simple “How is it going?” response in an email from a friend and mentor. I gave him a fairly long, yet honest answer. He had a two line response. This has prompted me to share with anyone listening, so to speak, the lesson.
I have a friend and mentor who is struggling to teach me the lessons he has learned. I say struggling, because I am not an easy student. I hold on to my “self-defeating” dialogues with great force.
He has used the following story several times. I recently used it to describe where I am in life.
“As a young man living in Hawaii, I loved to swim in the ocean. On one occasion, I took a young lady to a part of the coast that wasn’t frequented by a lot of swimmers. In fact, it had a No Swimming sign posted. I asked her if she were a good swimmer and she responded affirmatively. We jumped in and in no time found ourselves in a rip tide, being dragged out to sea.
I understood the situation we were in. We needed a plan to begin working our way back to shore. My friend revealed she wasn’t the swimmer she claimed to be and was afraid of how deep the water was.
I got her to calm down and shared rule number one: it doesn’t matter how deep the water is. It only matters that you stay on top. Then I shared rule number two: A strategy for success. We would swim towards the shore when the waves pushed us that direction. We would tread water when it pulled us back. This would help us keep our strength, and we wouldn’t be fighting the wave, expending energy.
Although it took several hours, we found ourselves on shore, safe.”
In sharing that this seems to be where I am in life, with another friend, moving forward when the waves are working for me, and holding my own when they aren’t, he suggested” The Savior, His Atonement and His Gospel provide the buoyancy….but I guess we still have to dog paddle.”
Well spoken. The Savior provides a plan to return to him. He has followed this plan. He has set the lighthouse to help us, even in the dark. He wants us to succeed. He also shares his love and reminds us that it really doesn’t matter how deep our troubles are, it just matters that we stay on top.
Thanks for listening.