(October 22, 2015)
Such a simple obligation – “thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things”—but so profound in both implications and blessings associated. All things allows for no exclusions, which changes the way that we view the world dramatically. Get into a car accident? Thou shalt thank the Lord for the car accident. Get terminal cancer? Thou shalt thank the Lord for cancer.
Is this merely wishful thinking, ignoring reality, or the worst of Panglossian excess? Not at all. What it truly is amounts to a fundamental shifting in how we view the world. Central to that fundamental shift is the recognition that (a) the Lord is fully in charge; and (b) He loves us and works out everything for our good.
When my children don’t want to go to bed, they view me imposing a bedtime on them as the most cruel thing in the world. But I understand that a little bit of discomfort now (missing out on crucial playtime, in their minds) will bring them greater happiness tomorrow – and understanding these consequences better than them I am able to appropriately judge and determine that the aggregate of happiness they experience will be increased if they go to bed now (even with some weeping and wailing), leaving them better able to enjoy the coming day.
This is applicable to so many things we experience in mortality. I certainly wouldn’t have chosen the path that I find myself on – in fact, there was more than a little bit of weeping and wailing on my part. But, ultimately, I am able to see that in the long run this will lead (frankly, it has already led) to more happiness in my life (and, presumably, in my eternity).