Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mosiah 16:4-5 -- On Choosing Not to Be Lost

"Thus all mankind were lost; and behold, they would have been endlessly lost were it not that God redeemed his people from their lost and fallen state.
But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him. Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God."
Mosiah 16:4-5

I don't think I've ever thought a lot about the idea of mankind being lost.  It was just kind of a background thing... the fall and the redemption.  Kind of beyond what we can really comprehend except on a basic level.  Something way too generic to feel personally.  I mean... *all* of mankind.  We're all lost, and all saved through Christ.  Except today I was reading this and I realized that it is a very personal thing... all of it.  And I think we all feel it.  Maybe we're always fighting not to feel it... isolated, desolate, incomplete.  Paranoid, empty, anxious, hopeless... we feel the fall.  The distance.  We are, indeed, lost.
I think that coming to Earth is probably painful for us on many levels.  Being a newborn and learning to use a body for the first time can't be easy... but on a spiritual level too, this is the first time that we have been separated from God.  And that is what the fall was, and is.  That void in our souls where God used to be constantly.  And we grow up feeling it, but not really knowing how to fill it.  We try a lot of things... wow.  And spectacularly *fail* to fill the void, over and over again.  Maybe forget it for a short time, but then it is always back, bigger than ever.  And it's hard to live with.  Distracting.  Hard to think with so much emptiness, with so much lack.  It's kind of like doing a puzzle and 400 of the most important middle pieces are missing, comprising most of the picture.  We might pour in glue, or tape another picture over it, or throw the puzzle in the garbage bin and try to ignore it or forget it is there... but it never goes away.  And then, at some point, we meet God, become reacquainted.  Realize that we've always known him on some level.  See our souls and our lives, fitting with other people easily for a few pieces and creating beauty, but here, this... God fills the space in between all the rest of it.  He makes it work.  Makes it all beautiful and perfect and complete.  And we realize that we don't have to be lost, because of him.
Today, let's remember where our wholeness and our peace come from.  Let's never choose to be lost again, let alone "endlessly."  Let's let go of being fallen.  Let's relinquish the carnality, the sin, the rebellion.  We don't need them.  Yes, it is painful in this life sometimes... but the answer is never to burn the puzzle to ash. :)  Let's ask God back into our lives, and let him banish the darkness and the emptiness.  Let's get on our knees and ask him to teach us how to feel complete... how to be okay.  Let's choose never to be lost again.

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