"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."
2 Corinthians 3:6
Hey. So, I am sitting here thinking about a lot of things, not the least of which is this scripture, and to me, at least right now, this scripture seems to encompass a lot of life. The spirit does give life... when we listen to God, and try to see the whole picture. Sometimes it seems like we can't see the forest, or even a whole tree, because we are trying to figure out how many leaves we can fit in our pockets, or we are banging our heads against a fallen log instead of climbing over it. We get so immersed in the details that we forget what we are here for. When I was in high school I ushered at a theatre in Denver. I remember one day we were putting on a cool Bernard Shaw play in our theatre in-the-round. Our supervisor told us to make sure that no-one walked on the set, since it was open to let cast members enter from all sides. One elderly lady came in with her daughter and when I led them to the stairs they told me that the person who sold them their tickets had assured them that they had a seat on the floor level. I explained to them that it was on that level, but we had to go up and then down. They asked if there was some other way that they could get to their seats. There was, you see, but it would have involved taking them through the "off-limit" area, and across the set... so, I told them no. We headed up the stairs, and as we were coming down from the top, I was walking just ahead of the elderly woman, and I heard a loud snap, and she fell. She broke her hip, they took her away in an ambulance... and this is what I mean. We get so involved with thinking about the rules, and the details, and the limitations, that we can't see the world around us, and why we are here, and all the amazing things that await us. It's like the Jews during the time of Christ. So many of them were so hung up with the Law of Moses that they couldn't see the Messiah when he literally stood in front of them. Nephi understood the concept... when the Spirit told him to kill Laban he reacted badly, but then he snapped out of the letter and saw the spirit... God, who can see the whole picture ALL the time, was asking him to do something, and tried to explain to him why it was an exception to the general "no killing" rule. And, somehow in that moment of indecision something clicked and he saw beyond the law, to the reason and the meaning behind it all. The verse says letter... as in letter of the law. How often do we find ourselves looking at the letters instead of reading the words? Arguing over a specific interaction instead of seeing the overall relationship?
God wants us to be happy, overall. Let's try to remember that big picture as we go throughout the day... not letting the details kill us, but drawing life through the spirit. When we find ourselves face-down on the forest floor where we can't see the forest OR the trees... just the dirt... let's listen to God, and ask him for a little perspective. :)