So, I just got done eating a really good roast made by my Mom. The crazy thing is that it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but the food at home is already approaching that level. Why do I bring this up? For no other reason than to thank Mom for helping me rediscover how much better it is to eat food made by hand instead of microwaving it. Ah, but such is the norm for college students....well, at least guys anyway. It's not that I couldn't prepare food if I wanted to; however, when you've just had a long day filled with classes and homework, you're stomach starts begging for your attention, and you want something QUICK. Call it patience or desperation if you want, but I think it's more along the lines of laziness. Microwaves are not bad, of course, but I think it's just one more example of how our society today seeks to make things as quick and easy as possible. Now you're probably thinking, "OK good, I thought Ike was gonna go off ranting about microwaves, but it looks like he's about to tie it in to something meaningful and applicable. If he was only going to talk about microwaves, then I'd probably tell him that I hear enough about them on Food Network." To you readers, fear not! There won't be any microwave rants this time around. I can save that for more informal settings (i.e. not on a blog). So anyway, back to what I was attempting to get at. On my mission, I talked with plenty of people who, while professing belief in God, were looking for the easiest and most pain-free way to gain salvation. The most common method seemed to be reading a prepared text about getting "saved" and then saying a prayer....and that's it! I was given my share of these pamphlets as well, but it was more of an opportunity for us as missionaries to explain to these people what it really meant to gain salvation. There are none of us in this world who can even begin to comprehend even the smallest portion of the sacrifice that was paid for by our Savior Jesus Christ. He did something that was so hard that only He was capable of experiencing it. What does He ask that we do in return? We not only teach what He taught, but we strive to live as He lived. What is a gospel without application? Nothing more than words, either on a page or coming from our mouth. This is a perfect time for a story that illustrates this principle:
A group of theological instructors were taking some summer courses about the life of the Savior. One of these ministers focused on the parables. On the day of the final exam, the students in this class arrived to a room with no teacher, but instead found a note on the desk which stated that the exam was being offered in another room across campus and that the students had 2 hours to complete it from the time they read the note. As you can imagine, there was a rush to the door as the students hurried to take the exam. Along the way, they passed a girl who was crying over a flat tire on her bike; then, they hurried past an older man who was spilling his books along the sidewalk and having a hard time gathering them back up; lastly, they saw a shabbily dressed man outside the union building holding a sign that read, "I am hungry. Please help me." The students rushed ahead to the classroom, where they were met by their professor.....and informed that they had ALL failed the exam. Then he taught them this powerful lesson: As important as were the lessons taught by the Savior in His parables, the greatest lessons that could be gained from them would come as they LIVED them. I return to the question I asked before, only said a little differently: What good is the gospel of Jesus Christ to us if we aren't trying our hardest to live it? I will close with one last quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland to sum up this roast-eating/microwave/ gospel application rant:
"I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy! We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?"
And THAT is some food for thought..... microwave users, beware!