Simpleness of the Way


Quite a few years ago I had a series of earaches. Each one seemed worse than the last. I went to the doctor and got antibiotics, and each time it took longer to get better. That was back when every trip to the doctor was a bag of groceries we couldn’t buy, so I delayed going each time, hoping it would just go away. It was late Sunday evening and my earache was intolerable. I decided I couldn’t wait until Monday morning and was going to go to the emergency room. As I was putting on my coat the thought occurred to me to ask for a priesthood blessing. Both my father and brother were there following a family dinner. During all of this it had not yet occurred to me to ask for a blessing.

I sat on a chair in my living room. My brother anointed me and my Father gave me a blessing. It was simply that I was to get better instantly, and that I did not need to go to the doctor. As he said this my mind was spinning with the cost and complication of going to the emergency room. I was in intense pain and apprehension.

As my father took his hands off of my head he said, “Well, that was a powerful blessing. I’ve done my part, so don’t blame me if you’re not healed.” It was an amazing statement. I’m still not sure if he meant it to be encouraging, or questioning. As soon as those words came from his lips, my ear was healed. It was so sudden that I was startled by it. All pain left. My ear instantly opened up and I could hear from it. I opened my jaw a few times and found that everything was normal.

“I’m healed.” I said rather softly. “My ear is healed.”  I had to answer a lot of questions, but my ear was completely well and stayed that way. All of a sudden I had a strange thought go through my mind – “Well, that was simple.”

It was almost anticlimactic. A few seconds ago I was headed to the hospital, anticipating weeks of pain and months of bills I could hardly pay. Then, in that instant it was all over, and my reaction to it was that it felt “simple”.

Over the years I have discovered that all miracles make our lives simple. In one moment we’re facing some overwhelming challenge, and then in an instant it is gone – simple. In one moment we are overwhelmed with confusion and daunting challenges, and then the answer comes and it is all over – simple. One minute we are on a life-long struggle to be Born Again, or to find the blessings of Calling and Election, and then a moment later, the journey is over – simple.

It has taken me longer to realize that every time I receive a prompting that my Savior is trying to simplify my life. I receive a prompting to drive the speed limit and by ignoring it, I complicate my life with the unfolding consequences. When I obey, nothing dramatic usually happens. Unrecognized blessings surround me with safety and my life just seems – simple. Yet, the miracle did occur. I was protected. I didn’t get a ticket, or have an accident, or I missed danger by the few feet and few seconds not speeding took off of my journey. It just has taken years of experience to develop eyes of faith to see the “simpleness of the way”.

Nearly every time my life has imploded or exploded, there was some moment when I knew a better choice and didn’t take it. “I knew that was going to happen!” has almost become idiomatic and axiomatic we say it so often. We just rarely analyze why we know these things – because Christ tried to show us a simpler way, and we childishly insisted on proceeding with our own way.

Anytime Christ speaks to us, or teaches us, or atones for us, He is simplifying our lives. Not only is this true, but the way that we hear Him, and the fact that His voice is present in every moment of our lives is itself simple. We don’t have to fight for it or even qualify for it. His voice is just there – simple.

He leadeth me beside the still waters – simple.

Brother John

© June 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About Terri Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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7 Responses to Simpleness of the Way

  1. James says:

    All so very true, Bro. John. I can relate so well with that sense of simplicity that exists when we allow those promptings to lead us. That awareness of so many ‘bad things’ that could happen, but do not, is something I have often experienced and pondered. It has seemed over the years as if we were inside a ‘protective bubble’, which has made me so thankful. There have been hard times also, no money, bad relationships, death, etc., but they were always accompanied by blessings and much learning and growing, So the blessings still outweigh the trials. So many miracles, so simple so quick and almost too ordinary that without faith and reflection they could easily be missed and taken as remarkable coincidence. It gives me much hope even with the tribulations that are coming. It’s like the hymn, ‘keep the commandments, in this there is safety and peace.’

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  2. carol says:

    they say.. every action, has a re-action..and when we learn the lesson.. it too will pass and be accounted as a experience well learned.

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  3. Bob Olah says:

    This all seems so simple :) In fact it is so simple members of my family wont believe it. Thank you for reminding me of all the simple blessings I get everyday.

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  4. D. Charles Pyle says:

    O! How I can relate to this post! I had similar problems with ear infections and ear aches. Eventually, I ended up going to the emergency room. I ended up being admitted. Half of my face was paralyzed and it was thought at first that I had had a stroke when I was admitted to the hospital. It later turned out that the infection had damaged the nerves to the face that pass through the mastoid around the ear.

    They did an MRI and found that fluid had been working its way through the bone and would have ended up going into my brain as a result of incompetance on the part of a PA at a clinic I had gone to previously.

    Before I was prepped for surgery, I had my wife call for a priesthood blessing. I received it and began to feel better. But, at the insistence of my wife and all the doctors on the team I underwent the surgery anyway–in spite of assurances by the Spirit that there was no need for the surgery and that I would be fine.

    I listened to the wisdom and concern of man before the Spirit. When they opened me up and drilled into the mastoid bone which they were about to remove, they found that the fluid was by then mostly gone and still working its way out of the bone all on its own. The doctors had never seen anything like it before, I was told after awakening during recovery. They did not have to remove the mastoid after all.

    Unfortunately, the surgery required a central line to administer antibiotics for several weeks afterward because of secondary infection from the surgery, and has resulted in daily pain and paralysis of the muscles at the back and sides of my head. The surgery also resulted in costs we could not afford, even with insurance, and as a result we have had wages garnished to the point of losing our home–even though we could prove that we could not pay the bill. The Utah Attorney General’s Office did not care about that and sued us anyway.

    The cascade of costs following has resulted in them continuing their tirades in the courts of the land and we barely survive from day to day as a result. I had carbon monoxide poisoning more severe than the rest of my family so I am not working at the present and we have only one income, which is garnished heavily by various lawyers and law firms in spite of our inability to pay the bills, including an HOA lawfirm. We ended up losing our home because of all of them.

    Whenever I eat and whenever I shower I am daily reminded by the pain of severe muscle cramping around the side of my head that I should have listened to the Spirit. Where we now live in a delapidated, old mobile home, with nothing but frames for an inner wall between our bedroom and living room, and a missing support wall for the roof (now held up by two makeshift beams to prevent the roof from caving in in the snow and leaking during rain), holes in the floors (now covered but not repaired because we cannot afford to fix them at the present time) and broken-out, boarded-up windows we also cannot afford to replace at the present time, daily reminds us of the home and conveniences we lost because people in political office and in the courts simply don’t seem to care. They try to squeeze blood from turnips anyway and the courts grant it. We cannot afford bankruptcy because of all the new laws and regulations and requirements, so we are stuck for the time being.

    If only I had listened to the Spirit that fateful day. It certainly would have been much simpler. I can attest to that!

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    • I am sorry to hear of your struggles. What a terrible thing that we have yet to establish Zion, and we could all share your burden, and we could all share in prosperity too.

      God bless,

      JMP

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      • darrell brashear says:

        Dear Brother Pyle. I am so sorry to hear about the challenges you have faced. My heart goes out to you. I agree with John….oh that Zion was established and we could all be there to lend some comfort, but in the meantime, we can petition our Heavenly Father in your behalf.
        Brother D.

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  5. Knightingale says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, brother John. The Lord directed me to your book launch a few years ago and my life has never beem the same. I also have a great love and appreciation for the power of the priesthood. I have received much help and guidance from the Lord through good men who have been his voice to heal me. Thank you to all who comment on this site also. I look forward to meeting you at the Unblog fireside.

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