Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gumballs and the Gospel...

A cute new ward member spoke in Sacrament meeting yesterday and used an analogy I’ve pondered since her talk. Angie is a convert of about six years and conceded that she has changed, mellowed a bit, since the exuberance she felt as a brand new member.

Initially, like many new members she was the bright-eyed bushy-tailed convert eager to soak in every church teaching. Angie described feeling like a kid in a candy store inserting shiny nickels into a gumball machine and just waiting for the gumballs to drop.

Continuing with her analogy, for a while, those gumballs came, but, at some point along the way, a gumball didn’t drop, it got stuck. Which was frustrating. And even worse, the kid next to her kicked his gumball machine and his gumballs rolled out in every direction. Which only made her mad. In other words, as the initial luster of church membership wore off and things didn’t go perfectly, Angie started to question, a natural reaction.

It took Angie awhile to learn that the stuck gumball did not mean she had been denied any promises of the gospel. Instead, the gumball that didn’t drop right out might even be the blessing because it’s often when we are hit with adversity that we find the need to turn to the Savior. And by turning to the Savior, that is how we develop a relationship with Him.

I’m definitely not describing Angie’s thoughts as well as she’d written them, but I liked her comparison. Because when gumballs drop out on command with no effort, it’s easy for our initial enthusiasm to get complacent. It’s actually our trials that truly remind us of how blessed we really are. And often it’s in our struggles that we truly seek Christ and the peace the gospel can bring.