Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hope It Works

I have many thoughts bombarding my already war-torn mind, so that last few nights I have retired to the trenches early.  I have a handful of posts that I have started and have yet to finish, and honestly probably won't, but they were great contemplating tools.   My thoughts, as of late, are rarely completed before a new idea begins, it's quite taxing.  So in an effort to calm my mind I've been pondering this, consider the Following:

I love motors, I have worked on them since I was a little boy.  You see, they are quite simple.  In order to function properly a motor needs spark, fuel-air mixture, and compression, if you achieve all of these you've got high octane fun!  I count myself as quite handy around cars, and as a result I'm automatically a cheap college students first resort when their car decides to go on a unscheduled hiatus.  As my friend's did today.  So what did I do?  I took work off early and spent 3 hours and 3 trips to Auto-zone fixing her angsty Honda Accord.  Now it runs like a champ, and I'm better friends with Auto-zone guy, who was not attractive by the way, slightly disappointing.

If only my internal combustion and timing could be harmonized with 3 hours and a local auto parts store.  But, no such luck.  However, I learned a valuable lesson today.  When diagnosing my friends car, I immediately thought it was a specific faulty part.  But convinced myself otherwise because it is a part that rarely needs replacing, so instead I replaced three other parts before finding the one that actually proved to be faulty.  If I would have followed my gut in the beginning the project would have only taken 30 minutes max.  But, in the processes other problems were fixed and regular tune-up type actions were done.  Her car now runs smoother and more efficiently than it would have if I had just replaced the specific part.

I bring this up, because often our struggles in the church are centered around something we know is broken.  [Not claiming that if your gay your broken, just roll with this].  So what do we do?  We fix that part of us, but soon find that is was only a temporary fix or it propagated another problem previously unidentified or ignored.  What if we spent less effort trying to repair our obvious defects and worked more on a spiritual tune-up.  Work backwards.  I understand this is somewhat of an unconventional method but maybe we can learn something from the angsty Accord I encountered this afternoon.  For example I often find myself not enjoying church, not reading my scriptures regularly, struggling with my daily prayers, and finding excuses to avoid FHE and other church activities. As a consequence I'm alienated from members of my ward and my leaders.  So what am I going to do about it?  I'm going to be a better friend and neighbor to those in my ward, which in turn will make FHE more enjoyable, which will help me be less bitter towards church in general, which will make scripture study and prayer more applicable in my life etc etc etc.  You get the point.

Now that I think of this, there are several programs that function this way (missionary work).  Simply put, work on bettering the system as whole not just one aspect.  We have a phrase in economics that says self-reinforcing effects generate extreme outcomes.  So, what this means is I need to do something in my life that will bring about personal change that in turn will generate more change, almost effortlessly.  That's how an efficient economy works so I simply need to identify my personal self-reinforcing effects.  To a person dealing with homosexuality in the Church, these could be; befriending your church leaders, voluntarily attending institute, contribute in church meetings, and I'm sure there are many others but I'll let you decide what is best for you.  I'm not suggesting that this will make our relationship with the church any stronger, I'm simply suggesting it will make it more pleasant.  If you want to be a part of the church, which I guess most BYU students do, but find it increasingly more difficult to get excited about it, this process may help you.  I think it will help me, and I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Although, much more time consuming, this method can bring the desired results more permanently than the quick and dirty fix.  It will hopefully give you more time and mental bandwidth needed to address the larger problems that find us in life, and hopefully your thoughts will become less scrambled and you will stress less about the little things.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God bless, Lloyd