Posts

Imagine you’ve been given a garden.

It’s you’re garden, and your responsible for its care.  You decide what grows in it.  You decide what it looks like.  And you get to partake of the fruit that comes from it.

Like any garden, it’s gonna be prone to sprout weeds.  Undesirable seeds will occasionally be blown in, and you won’t know it until they sprout.  But you get to decide how long those weeds stay.  How tall they get.

But be careful, because left untended, weeds have a way of taking over.

In fact, it’s often the case that after prolonged neglect, we look at our garden and see nothing but weeds.

In these times, it’s easy to curse the garden we’ve been given.

It’s also easy to look at the weeds in our garden, and think that it’s too late, or that this is how it was meant to be, and that there’s nothing we can do about it, at least not now.

When you look at your garden and see only weeds, it’s hard to forget that it’s still a garden.  The weeds do not define it.  They are merely the visible evidence of what you’ve allowed to grow there.

If you don’t like it, change it.  It’s your garden.

Now reread this, and substitute “garden” for “LIFE”. What resonates with you?

Rusty

Life is like a garden, it's yours to change

(image from **Mary**)

I love New Years Day and the turn of the new year, largely because it’s a time where we all take the opportunity to reevaluate our lives, assess where we’ve been, and plan where we’re going.  It’s a phenomenal event, pivotal, and magnificent.  I hope you all take the time to do it.

As for my assessing ’08 I found that I’d been so greatly blessed.  I had a splendid year, nearly incomparable in fact.  Even in spite of such tough times.  The brief time I’ve taken to reflect has surely manifested the Lords hand in my life, for truly, I’m unworthy of such blessing, and certainly incapable of creating such a great year autonomously.

The realization of that reflection caused me to rededicate my life in many respects (illustration of my post “Gratitude, the key to righteous desire“).  One of those areas of rededication is with my blog.  I felt strongly (as I mention here), that this was an endeavor the Lord wanted me to undertake.  He’s blessed me with the talents to do it, and it’s my duty to use those talents appropriately, leaving room for the Spirit to magnify my efforts so that they’ll be of enduring value.

But the whole process of reflection upon the past with the perspective of today tends to call out the starkest instances of entropy experienced in our lives (which I explain here).  Those areas where we’ve let slip the most.  Those are the areas we need to proactively rededicate ourselves to.

Life is not casual.  Life is engaging, and requires us to be engaged with it.  Spend too much time as a bystander, and you find your life is filled with more regret, than accomplishment and opportunity.

“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness”.

Doctrine and Covenants 58:27

Rusty

Entropy.  It’s a concept that describes the natural deterioration of order.  It’s a process of degeneration that begins almost instantly, in almost everything.

Buy something new and almost instantly it begins to show signs of being used (at least if you live in my house, with 6 kids).  Learn a whole bunch of things and pretty soon you’ve forgotten most of what you learned.

Sit down and try some algebra… that’s entropy.  Go look at your kid’s bedrooms… that’s entropy.  Stop exercising for a few weeks and then go weigh yourself… that’s entropy.  Watch the news for an hour… that’s entropy.

It’s a simple concept really.  Any system tends to lose order, or energy, and will continue to do so until there is none left.  That is unless there is a constant, steady, reliable, and deliberate stream of energy being put back into the system to maintain its order.

It’s a universal principle in every aspect of your life.  The moment you stop inputting into the system, deterioration begins.

That’s the reason why repetition of some of the smallest, most simple things can end up being the most important.  Small things like meaningful daily prayer, diligent daily scripture study, weekly church attendance, are crucial to staving staving off spiritual entropy.

Reading, thinking, and learning on a regular (if not daily) basis is crucial to overcoming intellectual, cognitive entropy.

The latest research in neuroplasticity shows us that when it comes to neuronal health, it’s a basic “use it or lose it” principle.  Regardless how strong the connection used to be, if you don’t use it, you’re going to lose it.  All behaviors, memories, talents, and abilities have a physical imprint in your brain by way of a pathway of interconnecting neurons.  And when you stop exercising those connections, entropy sets in and the connections become weaker and weaker until your brain finds no more need to maintain them and they become completely severed.

In truth, it’s the cumulative effect of frequent repetition of small exercises is most effective in staving off the entropy that would otherwise engulf us.   Hence, through small and simple things are great things brought to pass.

Entropy is when you ease back, it’s when you decide “it doesn’t matter” or “I can let it slip for a day”, it’s when you stop inputting into the system. Spiritually, it leaves you without the armor of God, and Satan, who doesn’t rest, is left with all the opportunity he needs.

Spiritual entropy is one of the strongest tools Satan has in his employ.  All he has to do… is nothing.  Just wait… which is why, again, it’s through the diligent, deliberate, and constant repetition of the simplest things that in the end may make the biggest difference.

The same holds true for all other aspects of our lives, every worthy endeavor.  Once you stop inputting, you start slipping.

So don’t stop, no matter what.

Rusty