One thing I do every day is listen to the Book of Mormon for 1/2 hour. When I’m feeling distressed, it calms me.
If I’m feeling calm it can have different effects. Sometimes I stay feeling calm. Sometimes I get new insights. Tonight I got discomfited.
Here’s an interesting piece of information. Discomfit is not an antonym of comfort. Or, shall we say, it’s not listed as one. (I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t make a good thesaurus writer; I would NEVER be done.)
To discomfit means, “To confuse and deject; disconcert; to frustrate the plans of…” That about sums it up for me.
Sometimes when I listen to someone read to me I pay closer attention than at other times. When my mind wanders while listening to the scriptures, it tends to wander along a higher plane. As stated, sometimes I learn new things.
I’m not sure what passage triggered the thought—somewhere in Alma 20-24. I was reminded of this Writing Event coming up in November. A couple of weeks ago I felt strongly nudged to sign up for it. It’s a bit expensive, and will be almost completely outside my comfort zone (which, in my opinion, means it can be classed as UNCOMFORTABLE, even DISCONCERTING, yea, DISCOMFITING).
Back then I had to talk myself into it, but hadn’t actually signed up.
In the meantime, I talked myself out of it. (Off in the opposite direction of Ninevah, folks!) Can I say, I felt fine with that decision (or excision).
You’re going to get sick of hearing me complain about writing—if you’re not already. The past couple of weeks have been both good and bad for my writing—and my health. One day too tired, but unable to sleep. Next day too tired to do anything but sleep. Coughing, flu-like symptoms, off and on for about a month. Trying to be happy, trying to write this book—feeling elated, feeling depressed about it. Avoiding like mad—“All I really want to do is knit and crochet.”
Tonight, in the middle of calmly listening to the Book of Mormon I got a new insight. I’ve often wondered how Peter, who was, hello, WALKING ON WATER!!!, got frightened and quit halfway. (You can see where I’m going, can’t you?)
“Sue,” something inside said to me, “You’re doing the same thing. That’s what happened with Peter. You’re quitting halfway.” (Voice was merciful, not pointing out that I wasn’t even halfway yet.)
Then I remembered a lesson I’d heard at church many years ago. It was so insightful that I’ve never forgotten it. The teacher was talking about Peter walking on the water and she said, “The Lord is there with us, even in our dreams.” She meant our personal desires, even wild flights of fancy.
“Yes,” I said when this memory surfaced, “but I DON’T WANT to write a book anymore. No longer a dream of mine.” There was no answer. No, “Oh, OK. Sorry. Mistook you for somebody else. Never mind all those messages we’ve been sending.” Instead, if anything, there was the idea, You heard me.
Towards the end of tonight’s listening session I came across this passage. For those who aren’t familiar with the Book of Mormon, I’ll try to briefly explain. Nephites = good guys + spiritual guys. Lamanites = the other guys; Nephites’ worst enemies. Several Nephites went among the Lamanites, as missionaries, to preach the gospel. Many Lamanites, including the king and all his household, were converted to the gospel. This provoked the main bulk of the Lamanites to rebel against the king and take up arms against their brethren. The converted Lamanites committed themselves to lay down their arms and not defend themselves.
21 Now when the people saw that they were coming against them they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth, and began to call on the name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword.
22 And thus without meeting any resistance, they did slay a thousand and five of them; and we know that they are blessed, for they have gone to dwell with their God.
23 Now when the Lamanites saw that their brethren would not flee from the sword, neither would they turn aside to the right hand or to the left, but that they would lie down and perish, and praised God even in the very act of perishing under the sword—
24 Now when the Lamanites saw this they did forbear from slaying them; and there were many whose hearts had swollen in them for those of their brethren who had fallen under the sword, for they repented of the things which they had done.
I think it’s the line, “and praised God even in the very act of perishing” that made me always think somehow, that the converted Lamanites enjoyed this experience. (I can be really thick sometimes.)
So, I guess I’m saying, I will go, I will write. I will also be sick and tired sometimes. Sometimes not. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Perhaps I shall even endeavor to revive the dream. When I quit halfway through: “Lord, save me!” And He is there…
As if all that wasn’t enough, despite how discomfiting it would be, I also felt I should share this experience here on my blog. Sigh. Aye, aye, Captain of my soul.