Monday, 2 January 2012
Look not behind thee . . .
Yesterday I took down all the old calendars and put up the new ones for 2012. It was nice to see some thing new and fresh hanging in the spots where the old calendars had hung . . . the written over, dog eared and old was gone, replaced with nice pristine, clean and crisp pages. How clean and bright the new ones look!
They seem to symbolize the high hopes of the new year. As I flicked through the pages of one of them I suddenly became aware of the mysteries of an unknown future . . . all those clean pages representing unlived time, all the promise of the seasons to come and not yet fulfilled dreams of the future . . . days not yet granted, which are still God's secret . . . it is quite awesome and wonderful to think about. What amazing and wonderful things will this year hold for each of us.
We had a very good lesson in Relief Society yesterday. The teacher began by writing these words on the white board: "Look not behind thee." We then read the story of Lot and his family who had been living in the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which were very wicked places and how they had been visited by Angels and told that the Lord was going to destroy those cities, but because they were righteous that they were to flee immediately, leaving everything behind . . . but also warning them not to look back, or they too would be destroyed. When they were fleeing Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a Pillar of salt. You can read the whole story in Genesis, Chapter 19 in the bible. Here are the angel's exact words:
Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
That is some pretty heavy duty warning . . .
For the remainder of the lesson we sat and talked about the ways this warning can still pertain to us today, in today's climate of fear and uncertain times. As I sat there listening to the other sister's speak . . . the thought occurred to me that this story could also be an allegory for our own pasts . . .
We all come with one. Our pasts stretch behind us like the written on pages of a calendar . . . the pages all spotted and tattered . . . words and works scribbled all over them . . . some pages dirtier than others. Sometimes it seems that we can only remember the things that we have done that we may be ashamed of . . . and we carry them into our futures like badges of dishonor, bringing them out every once in a while to beat ourselves with . . . or I do at any rate. I have made some terrible choices and mistakes in the past . . . things I cannot change or undo . . .
Things I am terribly sorry for and that I have repented of . . . but still I cling to them, allowing them to punish me even now. The thought occurred to me as I was sitting there . . . that as long as I clung to the past that I have no power over . . . I risked turning my present and future into a pillar of salt . . . just as Lot's wife had done in turning back to look towards Sodom and Gomorrah as they escaped into the mountains.
When I was Baptised . . . my sins were washed clean from me . . . "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." (Isaiah 1:18) Why do I still lug that past along with me? I have no need to . . . in Baptism I was given a new life . . . a fresh life and I am a new person. It is time to forgive myself, and even if there are still people in my family who wish to use and hold some of these things against me, I just have to move forward and stop looking back at things which I should have done differently, or things I should not have done at all. I should not let the narrow mindedness and unforgiving natures of a few people colour my future or write on my pages. Let this be their sin . . . for it is no longer mine.
Anyways, that was my thoughts . . . and I just wanted to share them with you. We all have a past. We all have a future. Let us move into our futures embracing all the promise and hope that they hold, leaving behind the things we cannot change.
"Look not behind thee." Don't you think it's time?
Here's a tasty way to dress up plain old ordinary oven chips. I always buy the low fat ones . . . the ones with less than 5% fat. I feel better inside myself when I do so, because every little helps. In doing so I don't feel as quilty covering them with cheese, lol. Seriously this is a delicious way to dress them up and if you use the half fat cheese, well . . . how bad can that be?
*Spicy Cheese Fries*
These are delicious. I make good use of low fat oven chips and also half fat cheese, so that I can do as little damage to my hips as possible! You can serve these with a dip if you like.
1 4-serving size bag of frozen low fat oven chips, crinkled or not as you desire
mild chili powder
grated half fat strong cheddar cheese (a good handful)
Preheat the oven according to the package directions for your oven chips. Line a large baking tray with foil. Pour the chips on top of the foil. Sprinkle with the chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to your own taste. Some may like more than others. I like mine with lots of flavour.
Bake in the heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chips are golden brown, but not overly crisp. Have the cheese ready. Remove the pan of chips from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the grated cheese. Let sit a few minutes to melt the cheese and then serve immediately.
Over in The English Kitchen today . . . Flat Meatballs & Gravy!! Comfort food at it's best!
“The heavens will not be filled with those who never made mistakes but with those who recognized that they were off course and who corrected their ways to get back in the light of gospel truth.”
― Dieter F. Uchtdorf