Each time I have the opportunity to meet you and to hear your life stories, and feel of your faith and hopes, it intrigues me how similar we are, and how familiar your experiences feel to me.
All of my life I have had a somewhat peculiar way of looking at the Gospel. The Lord for some reason granted me a believing heart. I just believe everything applies to me, and that everything is possible. I search the deep things and rejoice in pinpoints of light that suddenly illuminate eternal vistas. These beliefs have led me to experiences that over time defined my life, but made me feel as if I was alone on the path.
Then, I found a few whom I realized had had similar experiences. My Dad was among the first I found spiritual kinship with, and then a few other dear friends. Through a series of miracles I met and married Terri, and found that she had learned to understand the gospel almost identically to myself, and we both rejoiced. We realized we were not only in love, but we found we were soul mates, on the same path at the same place.
I have since found hundreds more whose spiritual journeys have brought them to the same place – each of us wondering if we were alone, maybe even quietly feeling a little odd for being there, for believing we were correct to be there. It was almost as if we had accidentally stumbled into a temple wearing ragged clothing– welcome, but not sure we actually belonged.
The commonality we share is startling – and comforting to me. It is a byproduct of many inspired lives, separately walking a common path to a personal, but shared goal. It is as miraculous as if a million people were randomly dropped in a vast desert, and with no direction, no maps, and nothing but the whisperings of the Holy Spirit, we all arrived at the same spot at the same time, having shared a common experience in the desert, which we each thought was unique, and even a little strange.
One very common theme among us is a deep yearning – of feeling that there is something greater awaiting us, without knowing what it is. Most of us have had deep spiritual experiences without realizing what they meant. Most of us have endured painful life events which we later realized were great blessings. Many have experienced physical challenges and have shed blood along the way, realizing later that it was important to our journey. Many of us have seen and spoken to angels, and people who vanished when we looked away. All of us have clung to faith and hope, determined no matter the cost, to obey and press onward.
Most all of us felt alone.
None of us actually are.
© March 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved for the contents of this blog and website.