I entered the new age of technology a few weeks ago when my sweet husband got me a smart phone for Mother’s Day. I am always kind of on the tail end of the “new” things out there so I realize this isn’t the “new age” for most of you. As I start figuring this thing out and playing with it I start to feel pretty cool and quite empowered. I then decide I want to further my coolness… so I join Instagram---Now I realize again I’m coming late to that party as well but I always eventually get there. I start setting this up with admittedly some help from my son and it starts asking me who I want to follow. Which my son explains to me means that if you follow them you can see the pictures and updates and things they post. So if I “follow” someone it gives me the opportunity to get a glimpse into their lives and maybe get to learn something or get to know them a little better or it can remind me of what I love about the people I already know really well.
This got me thinking….while it is ridiculously easy to follow someone on Instagram is it as easy for us to FOLLOW our Savior, Jesus Christ? I think we would all say of course we would be willing to Follow Jesus Christ—it unfortunately isn’t near as easy as it is to hit a button to say I want to follow Him and then on occasion passively scroll through a screen to either learn more about Him or remember what we love about Him.
Elder Dalin H Oaks in a talk named “Followers of Christ” said : “Following Christ is not a casual or occasional practice but a continuous commitment and way of life that applies at all times and in all places.”
So how do we accept the Saviors invitation to “Come Follow Me”. I think 1st we have to decide that we want to and that we will and then take the time to learn about him. We can’t be like someone if we don’t know who they really are.
We have to know who the Savior is and was when He walked the Earth---not the cliff note version of the timeline of miracles performed and events surrounding his death but we need to KNOW Him---not the social media way of knowing someone. You can’t truly know someone by just reading a few comments or posts. It gives you a glimpse but you can’t truly say you know them solely by scrolling through their pictures and posts. Just as we can’t expect to really truly know the Savior by just scrolling through the scriptures and pictures we see of Christ.
Our family went to the beach last summer, the first day on the beach My husband showed the kids this unique round house right on the beach and said this is your reference point when you are out in the water. Look to this house and don’t get too far away from it. I really hadn't been to the ocean before so I didn't fully understand why this was important. I realized though just after a few minutes in the ocean that I had drifted pretty far from that house. I didn't even feel like I had been moving at all. It surprised me. I quickly got out and made my way back up to the beach—to our starting point. We had to do this time and time again. Sometimes we got distracted and forgot and went really far and the hike back wasn't fun but we didn't want to get too far and be lost so we readjusted and regrouped and began again.
Christ and His Gospel is our round house—our anchor—our point of reference! I have found in life I can drift away from Him without even realizing it. I think I’m good, I feel like I’m fine and then when I really look—I’m not. I’m further from Him than I thought. The house was constant…it didn't move. I did. The same with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, they are always there our constant—we are the ones that drift from Them. We need to consistently take the time to stop and look up—to evaluate where we are and adjust accordingly. The further we get from Them the harder it can be to make that trek back.
However, They are always there..waiting for us to come back when we do get distracted and get too far. In the ocean it can get physically exhausting countering the waves and staying close to our fixed point but unlike the ocean with our journey in life we don’t have to use just our own physical strength to accomplish the goal. Heavenly Father and Jesus are there to help us, strengthen us, guide us—we don’t have to and are foolish if we try to do it alone. He has given us all the tools and gifts we need to stay close to Him. We have the scriptures, the Holy Ghost, Prophets, and the ultimate gift His son Jesus Christ with his example of who we should strive to be and then with his atoning sacrifice for us. We need to use these things to first study and learn so we can KNOW and then continue to DO the things we need to so we can then BECOME the people He knows we are-- the people He needs us to be to accomplish His work and so we can feel of the love and peace that can only come when we are close to the Savior and heeding the call to Follow Him.
We have to continue taking those steps..sometimes they will be baby steps..but keep taking those steps to come closer to Christ so when obstacles appear, we will keep going, when doubt comes, we will keep going. I’m so thankful for a loving, patient and forgiving Father in Heaven and for His Son Jesus Christ who is always there for me, my constant, my anchor!