Thursday, August 17, 2006

Creatures of Eternity

You've heard the term "grumpy old man." You've also met old people who are sweeter than cream. Why do we tend to find old people at such polar extremes of personality? They can be especially kind or especially cruel. Some have theorized that it has to do with the removal of inhibitions as we age. I suspect that plays a role, but I believe that part of the equation has to do with what we've become over time. People who spend a lifetime becoming sweeter each day are going to be mighty sweet seniors.

I'm reminded of a snippet of a talk by Neal A. Maxwell when he spoke at a symposium about C. S. Lewis on the subject of discipleship.
Furthermore, since discipleship occurs in a tight mortal time frame, it is all the more a rigorous and ongoing developmental journey. No wonder Lewis stressed our need to persist: "Now there are a good many things which would not be worth bothering about if I were going to live only seventy years, but which I had better bother about very seriously if I am going to live for ever. Perhaps my bad temper or my jealousy are gradually getting worse—so gradually that the increase in seventy years will not be very noticeable. But it might be absolute hell in a million years." (C. S. Lewis, The Man and His Message: An LDS Perspective. p. 10)
We don't have to make giant strides each day. We just have to creep in the right direction. We are creatures of eternity, and direction truly matters more than location. That's what Hugh Nibley was getting at when he said that anyone who is repenting is righteous.


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  • That gives me hope. It tells me that the large failure I made yesterday won't matter so much, as long as I am trying to correct it, trying to better myself, trying to improve, day by day.

    However, I do think there are certain times in one's life when an experience serves as a catalyst to cause a sudden shift in behavior, personality, habit, or vice.

    Thank God for the atonement.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/17/2006 3:38 PM  

  • Amen.

    By Blogger Scott Hinrichs, at 8/20/2006 4:33 PM  

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