Friday, August 8, 2014

Hastening vs. Haste

God is giving me varied opportunities to consider how I might be able to surrender more of my fear(s) to Him. I had some great conversations today that gave me a lot to ponder. One of those was with my husband. He is in Australia for two weeks and we have been using Google Hangouts (video chat) to stay connected. We're both in a sort of musing mode about learning to surrender the natural man.

Today, the combination of conversations, a direct fear I was dealing with, a choice I made to try to surrender, and a scriptural concept collided.

Actually, I will start with a scripture that my husband brought up that ties in with the conversation I had earlier today with someone I was having a business meeting with (yes, I have a cool job). He suggested (and I'm going to add my own thoughts, too) that perhaps we sometimes think of the 'natural man' from Mosiah 3:19 in ways that may not be complete (e.g., equating the natural man with EVIL stuff vs seeing it as our mortal tendency to engage life in fight-or-flight mode -- which, as this woman and I discussed, really is built into our biology. I like to say that we are wired to self-protect. We are wired to avoid pain.

For me, that equates to often acting reactively -- in haste. 

But haste is something that the Lord invites us away from because it can bring confusion -- and because, as the first scriptures say, " for the Lord will go before you." The space between my reactive action and giving myself permission and a little time to be still is something I'm trying to allow for more in my life, and especially in my mind.

  • For ye shall not go out with haste nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel shall be your rearward.), 3 Ne. 20:42 . ( Isa. 52:12 . )
  • Saints to assemble in Zion, not in haste lest there be confusion: D&C 63:24 .
  • the Lord will hasten his work in its time: D&C 88:73 .
  • all things to be done in their time, not in hasteD&C 101:72 .
Mosiah 3:19 teaches us that to submit is the way to find grace and the Atonement. I have often pictured submitting as some burdensome thing -- somehow in my fears over the years, even in the face of my strong faith and testimony, I still had imagined up a God who was out to get me. And so subconsciously, I think I have resisted submitting because who would want to submit to a father who was like that?

My husband is reading from Eckhart Tolle right now, and he is sharing some thoughts from one of his books. I was trying to find a quote that he shared and couldn't find it, but you might enjoy some of the quotes from his books. There are some real gems there.
This is the one that hit me between the eyes. “What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.” 

The voice in my head is also not who God is. 

I also liked this.

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” 

When I act in haste, in fear, in REaction (acted upon) mode, I have a hard time feeling the Spirit. I am trying to change the present rather than accept it. In so many of the things I've studied and pondered, this notion of being present is so prominent. I am trying to be more present, more aware of the now, more grateful, more willing to learn from what the present has to offer, rather than living somewhere in the past or the future.

The thought has come recently that the only place I can exercise agency (which is inextricably tied to the Atonement) is in the present. 

"Be still [just BE], and know that I am God."

I really loved Elder Maxwell talking about the difference between being anxious and being anxiously engaged. I think this notion of God's way of hastening and doing His work and the mortal tendency to act in haste or by flight (like fight or flight!) is similar. Speaking of Elder Maxwell, this talk is brilliant. (I miss Elder Maxwell!)


  1. I miss Elder Maxwell too. Michelle; thank you so much for this post. I think I am a lot like you and I know I have a daughter that can use these thoughts too. The words haste, fear and re-action are hitting me hard. I have some work to do in this area. Be still and know; that is one to work on. Thanks and blessings to you!

  2. Thanks, LeAnn. There's lots to ponder in these scriptures! I'm grateful that that phrase came to mind this week. I needed it!