Thursday, June 30, 2011

Injuries, Currant Bushes, and the Gospel??

Come on, you have to be wondering what running injuries, current bushes, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ have to do with each other. Well, bare with me and you just might find out.
On a runners journey to greatness, there are often bumps in the road known as injuries. But needless to say it is almost guaranteed for us runners to run into these road bumps.  Yuck! Even writing about them reminds me of the countless hours spent in physical therapy and down in the basement of my high school icing my shins and foot. I would be so heart broken that my progress and training had gone to naught because a simple hurt foot. I found out shortly that tears could not heal the injured tendons in my foot and shin. I felt like i had been cheated by some one who should have been there for me when injury was about to emerge. (My coach, myslef, even my father in heaven)
That's where the story of the Currant Bush comes to mind.........
Elder Hugh B. Brown gave a talk in the 1973 issue of the Ensign titled The Currant Bush




I was living up in Canada. I had purchased a farm. It was run-down. I went out one morning and saw a currant bush. It had grown up over six feet high. It was going all to wood. There were no blossoms and no currants. I was raised on a fruit farm in Salt Lake before we went to Canada, and I knew what ought to happen to that currant bush. So I got some pruning shears and clipped it back until there was nothing left but stumps. It was just coming daylight, and I thought I saw on top of each of these little stumps what appeared to be a tear, and I thought the currant bush was crying. I was kind of simpleminded (and I haven’t entirely gotten over it), and I looked at it and smiled and said, “What are you crying about?” You know, I thought I heard that currant bush say this:
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as big as the shade tree and the fruit tree that are inside the fence, and now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me because I didn’t make what I should have made. How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”
That’s what I thought I heard the currant bush say, and I thought it so much that I answered. I said, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down. Thank you, Mr. Gardener.’”
I think i may know how that little currant bush felt like. I would often ask my self very bitterly....
 "Why did this happen to me! I was making such wonderful progress. I was almost as good as the other runners around me and this injury has slowed me down! Every runner in the state will look down on me because I cant run as fast as them! I thought you were a runner here?"
In one of the most real ways that heavenly father has made himself known to me is through this talk, an answered prayer.....
"Look Austin, I know what i want you to be. I didn't intend you to be a national champion, or a state champion. I want you to be Austin .......... and some day Austin, when you are laden with tons of accomplishments and wonderful memories you will say thank you, for loving me enough to cut me down."
Its my testimony to you that i know that God is in our lives and that he knows what is best for us. Though we may not understand why he does what he does, he does it because he loves us. Never in my life had a felt so much love from my heavenly father when i was injured and at a low point in life
. I never went on to be a nationally ranked runner, or even a state champ, but i have thousands of memories on running in high school and loving every second of it.

Injuries, Currant Bushes, and the Gospel??

Come on, you have to be wondering what running injuries, current bushes, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ have to do with each other. Well, bare with me and you just might find out.
On a runners journey to greatness, there are often bumps in the road known as injuries. But needless to say it is almost guaranteed for us runners to run into these road bumps.  Yuck! Even writing about them reminds me of the countless hours spent in physical therapy and down in the basement of my high school icing my shins and foot. I would be so heart broken that my progress and training had gone to naught because a simple hurt foot. I found out shortly that tears could not heal the injured tendons in my foot and shin. I felt like i had been cheated by some one who should have been there for me when injury was about to emerge. (My coach, myslef, even my father in heaven)
That's where the story of the Currant Bush comes to mind.........
Elder Hugh B. Brown gave a talk in the 1973 issue of the Ensign titled The Currant Bush


I was living up in Canada. I had purchased a farm. It was run-down. I went out one morning and saw a currant bush. It had grown up over six feet high. It was going all to wood. There were no blossoms and no currants. I was raised on a fruit farm in Salt Lake before we went to Canada, and I knew what ought to happen to that currant bush. So I got some pruning shears and clipped it back until there was nothing left but stumps. It was just coming daylight, and I thought I saw on top of each of these little stumps what appeared to be a tear, and I thought the currant bush was crying. I was kind of simpleminded (and I haven’t entirely gotten over it), and I looked at it and smiled and said, “What are you crying about?” You know, I thought I heard that currant bush say this:
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as big as the shade tree and the fruit tree that are inside the fence, and now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me because I didn’t make what I should have made. How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”
That’s what I thought I heard the currant bush say, and I thought it so much that I answered. I said, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down. Thank you, Mr. Gardener.’”
I think i may know how that little currant bush felt like. I would often ask my self very bitterly....
 "Why did this happen to me! I was making such wonderful progress. I was almost as good as the other runners around me and this injury has slowed me down! Every runner in the state will look down on me because I cant run as fast as them! I thought you were a runner here?"
In one of the most real ways that heavenly father has made himself known to me is through this talk, an answered prayer.....
"Look Austin, I know what i want you to be. I didn't intend you to be a national champion, or a state champion. I want you to be Austin .......... and some day Austin, when you are laden with tons of accomplishments and wonderful memories you will say thank you, for loving me enough to cut me down."
Its my testimony to you that i know that God is in our lives and that he knows what is best for us. Though we may not understand why he does what he does, he does it because he loves us. Never in my life had a felt so much love from my heavenly father when i was injured and at a low point in life
. I never went on to be a nationally ranked runner, or even a state champ, but i have thousands of memories on running in high school and loving every second of it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Why do you run??

Why do you run?
Because an Alaskan winter isn't my weakness, its my strength.
Because I have to believe, even if they don't.
Because knowing I gave my Everything, means Everything.
Because of my father, because of my son.
Because I had to try... Again.
Because It's more than just a line on the road, and we are more than just finishers.
Because when I do, there is always the chance to be extraordinary.

How often in life do we find our selfs in a hard situation? I would ask that we liken our "race" to life....
 The story that really touched my heart was the story of Derek Redmond, the sprinter in the video who's dad helped him finish his last 400 Meeter race.

Derek Redmond was prepared for the 400m semifinal race at the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992. He felt he was in the best shape of his life. Despite 8 operations on his Achilles tendons over the past 4 years, he felt very confident. His father Jim, sitting in the stands, also had high hopes. Jim and his son were very close and he made it to all of the championship races.
Derek gets off to a good start. Coming around the first bend in the track, tragedy struck as Derek’s hamstring went. Initially he thought he had been shot because the pain was so great. His leg would not function. London’s The Guardian newspaper quoted him, “Everything I had worked for was finished. I hated everybody. I hated the world. I hated hamstrings. I hated it all. I felt so bitter that I was injured again. I told myself I had to finish. I kept hopping round. Then, with 100 metres to go, I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was my old man.”
In our own lives sometimes disaster strikes and we find our selves bitter and unhappy. We have a loved one pass away, or a financial situation comes up, its hard to find peace in situations as such. But I can promise you  that our Heavenly Father is ALWAYS there for us in our times of trial to help us finish our race. Just like Derek's father was there in his time of need on the track to help him finish the race. 
I love the clip of the iron man womens finishers crawling across the finish line. Such heart is displayed by these two athletes. And how appropriate is that quote in our race to heaven. Because heaven  is more than just a line on the road of heaven, and we are more than just finishers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

From a Runners View

So I came up with a new idea that would probably be more fitting for me. Im going to do a lot of posts from the view of a runner. Seeing that I am a runner im going to relate the gospel back to things that involve running.
I had a wonderful coach in high school. He taught us how to accel in anything. One of my favorite quotes he told me was "The only way to get better at running, is to run"
-Ryan Hall 
 The only way to accel in anything, is to actually do it. You want to be good at piano, play the piano. You want to be good at basketball, play basket ball. You want to
be learned the scriptures, read them. Just try...
The Savior, as you remember the story of the talants, said to the faithful servents who improved their talants...  Mat 25:21
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
So when we "just try" to improve our talants, the Savior will make us ruler over many things. So when we "just try" to improve ourselfs at running, we get better and have the "joy" of being a great runner.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

How To Gain A Testimony

As we go through life we gain experience and learn how to do things. Some one might learn how to paint, or build cars, or teach. We were all given the freedom to choose, or as we know, agency. We make choices that always bring a consequence weather good or bad. But the question that intrigues me the most is "How do you know?" That brings another question to mind....
How does one personally gain a testimony? Well, I think a better way to start this out would be to know what exactly a testimony is.... A testimony ( according to dictionary.com ) is evidence in support of a fact or statement; proof.
People often ask missionaries how we "know", i came across a scripture the other day while reading in the doctrine and covenants stating....
D+C 46:13-14
 13To some it is given by the Holy Ghost  to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.
 14To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.
I know that the book of Mormon is the word of God, because i have received that spiritual witness by the holy ghost. Yes, i didn't "know" for a long time if the book of Mormon was true. I built my testimony and faith on the faith of my parents. But now i know for my self that it is true, because i have read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. I know that He Lives!! For i have felt his love and guidance in my life. I wouldn't be any where with out my savior and Redeemer. That is my testimony and invitation to you to read and pray about the book of Mormon.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ill Go Where You Want Me To Go


It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle’s front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I’ll go where you want me to go.
In the short time i have served as a missionary i have found out first hand that the lord does lead his children to those who are seeking the gospel, we just have to trust in him. Even in daily life we find that we are lead and guided to the things we should do. You might ask, how do i receive this guidance in my life?  Nephi sheds some light on the subject in answer to his fathers question....

7. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

So if we "Go" and "Do" the things that the Lord commands us to do we receive that guidance in our lives, and what a blessing that is.








Thursday, June 2, 2011

To Kill A Mocking Bird

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
Many of us have read the classic novel "To Kill A Mocking Bird" by Harper Lee. Whether or not we read it in school or on our own we can learn quite a lot from this book. I love this quote from Atticus that talks about us not judging others till we know exactly what their situation is. As I thought about this for a moment, i made the connection that Jesus Christ is the only one who knows exactly what our point of view is.
Alma, as he preaches to the people in Gideon relates in a very real way the Savior's understanding for us.
Alma 7:11-12
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.