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Monday, May 10, 2010
First some background...as you may know (or may not know for that matter), I've recently gone back to college. This is quite a big step for me because, while I definitely enjoy the learning process, I struggle to find the time to get all of my homework done, especially when I have 4 kids I'm raising alone. My goal of course is nothing less than the best there is...graduation with summa cum laud honors and to do so in the shortest amount of time. Last quarter I took 19 credits with a 3.95 (but really it's a 4.0 cuz an A- is still an A after all), this quarter I'm taking 24 and at present, I am holding a 4.0 GPA. It's work believe me.
Anyway so because I'm a brainiac by nature, because I don't ask for help very well, and because I'm fairly independent, I often find it difficult to ask for help. More than once Heavenly Father has reminded me that if I'd just ask for help in the first place, it wouldn't get catastrophic but it's usually not until the thing I need help with is about to be a crisis that I finally swallow my pride, or independence or whatever it is that keeps me for asking for help and then I'm actually begging for it.
So last night I'm cramming for homework (nothing like the pressure of a deadline to get you focused right) and my Humanities assignment escapes me. For the life of me I can't find a single word to write on the assigned topic. This is a huge deal because I'm a writer/speaker and never at a loss for words...ok rarely at a loss for words.
So I sit there and stare at this word document for hours, literally. I can't think of an entire solitary thing to say. First the topic is a critique of fine art...something I know very little about. Second the instructor asks some very specific questions to consider when making our critique and my brain is just completely locked up tight. I continue to stare getting nowhere.
This morning I open the file again and stare some more. At least three times I feel a prompting to just pray about it. Each time I ignore it. You see asking for help for me personally is not something I am very good at.
In a talk called Improving Our Prayers, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin says "with faith our prayers connect with the powers of heaven and can bring upon us increased understanding, hope, and power. The doors of heaven will ever be closed to those who hold out their hands, waiting for blessings to drop from heaven upon them." I testify that this is true.
While sitting there looking at this word document and unable to complete the assignment I was essentially waiting for a blessing (the words to say to complete the assignment) to just fall out of the sky. Finally I folded my arms and bowed my head and went to my Father in prayer. Then the blessing came immediately...what I had been unable to do in at least 6 hours, I was then able to do in a matter of minutes. My frustration with the assignment brought me low and He helped me.
What a simple thing that prayer is but I wonder how often we thing we can only ask for help with the big things, or spiritual things. My children know that they can call upon the "powers of heaven" to help find the keys, or church clothes, or get good sleep, or pass a test at school, or...and the list continues.
A favorite dialogue from the movie Facing the Giants has Coach Carter talking to his football team about playing the game to bring glory to God, whether they win or lose. One of the players says something like "so are you saying God cares about football" and Coach replies with something like "I think God cares about you and you bring honor to Him by playing football then yeah He cares about football." The point being, while God might not care about a critical analysis of a piece of fine art, He DOES care about me. When I call on Him to help, he is always willing to grant that help unto me. By asking him for help when I need it most, I show honor and reverence toward my Father. Though divine and deity, God is our parent, He desires to communicate with us like we desire to communicate with our own children.
Thank you Heavenly Father for helping me find the words I needed to complete my assignment. Thank you for allowing me to go back to school, thank you for the intelligence you've given me that allows me to do as well as I am doing in school, thank you for all you have given to me and everything you are waiting to give me the moment I ask.