This is Why We Practice

Training Wheels


“The future depends on what we do in the present.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.”
Sun Tzu

“Practice makes the master.”
Patrick Rothfuss


True story:  There was a gal who made a spiritual journey to India to meet the Dalai Lama. The timing of her visit was an interesting one because a week before she and her friends arrived, tragedy struck among the otherwise peaceful Buddhist community. Some monks had been brutally murdered – alarmingly, by fellow monks!

The disturbing news of course couldn’t help but undertone the trip, so when this gal and her small group found themselves in a private audience with The Dalai Lama, their first words to him were ones of sympathy. His response was stunning. Continue reading


Tuor, Gondolin, and Our Life Mission

I am going to involve you all in my nerdiness today. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the writings of one of my favorite authors – J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve always found his mythology of Middle Earth particularly profound and inspired, full of life lessons. And this last week I was especially struck by a story that speaks to me of our purposes in life. It’s about a man named Tuor and his mission to the secret Elven city of Gondolin (from Tolkien’s lesser known works the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales).

Detail from Gondolin by digital-fantasy (via Deviantart)

Detail from Gondolin by digital-fantasy (via Deviantart)

Here’s some backstory:
Now, in the early days of Middle Earth (long before the Lord of the Rings takes place), the mighty elf-king Turgon was worrying about how to protect his people from the evil powers that sought to destroy the elves. So with the help of the sea god Ulmo, Turgon designed a secret city he named Gondolin. It was to be a sanctuary for elves hidden in the mountains, a place of protection, where no one would know its location except those who lived within it.

But the god Ulmo warned Turgon that the city’s secret would not last forever, and in the future Gondolin would be destroyed by enemies. Continue reading


While we look not at the things
which are seen,
but at the things which are not seen:
for the things which are seen
are temporal;
but the things which are not seen
are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

“I believe in God like I believe in the sun,
not because I see it, but because of it –
all things are seen.”
C.S. Lewis

A few weeks ago we experienced one of nature’s spectacles that was best seen here on the west coast of the United States: a solar eclipse.

What causes an eclipse?  Good question.  A solar eclipse happens when the moon moves directly in front of the sun, blocking its light and casting a shadow on earth’s surface.

It’s really quite a phenomenon when you consider the fact that the sun is 400 times larger than the moon, and 400 times further away from the earth than the moon.  Yet, when the moon sneaks its way in front of the sun with such perfect symmetry, both solar bodies appear to be the same size.  Amazing.

And, just a few Thursdays ago, the moon made a partial sweep across the planet, turning the sun into a crescent (a partial eclipse) and leaving strange shadows in what normally would have been the brightest hours of the day.  In rarer cases of a total eclipse, the sun vanishes into a mere halo of light, casting darkness below.

It’s no wonder that the word eclipse comes from ancient Greek and translates as “I vanish.”

Has some light in your world recently vanished? Continue reading

Fear Not


I have had a lot on my mind lately.

School, finances, unemployment and – most recently – mission papers have taken over my every waking moment. I worry constantly.

Will I be able to pay back my loans?
Will I be able to pay for my mission?
Will I have a job waiting for me when I get back from my mission?
Will I even be able to handle a mission?
Am I going to be okay?

As I have sorted through the slew of questions in my mind, I am reminded of a story my mom told in a Sunday School lesson. Continue reading

Delayed Lessons from the Terminal

Flying over Wyoming to Idaho Falls

Flying over Wyoming to Idaho Falls

Over this past weekend, I attempted flying back to school (my second time flying in my life; the first was flying home 2 weeks previous for Christmas).

Flying. Ugh. Big mistake.

The flight home for Christmas was nerve-wracking, but the flight back to school was absolute insanity.

The original plan was to fly from San Francisco to Denver to Idaho Falls. But due to some pretty darn severe winter storms that completely enshrouded the east coast, I experienced quite a few problems.

First of all, my connecting flight from Denver was cancelled three times. One time the automated rebooking system omitted my final destination altogether, and I had to go to a nearby airport twice to fix the mistake.

When I finally thought that I had everything figured out, my first flight got delayed and caused me to miss my connecting flight in Denver. The flight that I would have taken the next morning (9 hours later) also got cancelled. Which meant that I had to take the afternoon flight the next day – 17 hours later.

All of this resulted in three days of intense stress and an unexpected overnight stay at the Denver Airport.

Yay. Continue reading