Armed with Righteousness

“Can we get a light sabre photo?” asked Elizabeth Anderson.
Following a crunching tackle whilst playing football on P-day, she ended up with a badly sprained ankle, some support bandaging, and a pair of crutches.
Elizabeth has quite an imagination, so, arming ourselves for our light sabre battle was fun.
There are, however, many battles in our life’s that are not quite so fun.
Daily we see real life battles played out in war torn cities in Ukraine.
Other personal battles can take the form of; financial difficulties, relationship issues, career pressures, inner battles with doubts, mental health anxieties, testimony concerns, abuse, insecurities, trauma, fear, bullying, parenthood issues, and many more.
What battles are you facing now?
How do you overcome your personal battles?
“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself, the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us, that’s where it’s at.” Jesse Owens.
Winning those battles oftentimes takes extra effort.

Extra Effort

For me, the extra effort comes through self-reflection, slowing down daily, connecting with the divine part of myself, renewing my spiritual strength through prayer, scripture study and treasuring up the words of God.
Spiritual strength comes through faith, obedience, and repentance.
Neil L. Andersen said. “As you arm yourself for battle, your protection comes from God, who is our Father. You have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you take His name upon [you].”
He goes on to say, “While the battle rages, we need not fear. The Lord will help you, your family, and others you love who need special help. We know the outcome. The Saviour will triumph over all!”
I know personally that it is through our conversion to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and by following Him, that brings happiness, peace, real joy, and a bright hope for the future.
In Isaiah 41:10 we read, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Recently, I spoke about being “armed with righteousness” – 1 Nephi 14:14.
To survive the battles of our day, arming ourselves with light sabres would be nice if they were real, but the reality of our battles requires us to consider one of our greatest allies of all – even Jesus Christ.
He will help us to overcome all our battles and ultimately provide the greatest victory of all by defeating the sting of death, through His glorious resurrection.

Strings of Life

Summer holidays were always something to look forward to for our family.  Dad was a train driver. In summer  we would always travel as far away as possible on our free family rail tickets!

For several years, we headed down south to Devon & Cornwall. Ilfracombe, Baggy Point, Lands End, Cornish Pasties and ice cream with a big dollop of clotted cream on top are all fond memories. The beaches were always the very best!

Summer 1972

We were staying in a caravan in Ilfracombe. That particular summer, dad took some time to share with me the intricacies of flying a kite. I recall going into a large field on the caravan site, and getting it ready to fly. I’d never flown a kite before, but he patiently taught me the rudimentary skills in order to get it to launch skyward.

We unravelled the string, and he showed me what I needed to do. Firstly though, he held the string and I was asked to throw the kite into the air, to catch the wind.  It took some effort and persistence, but after a few attempts, the kite soared into the air. After watching it fly for a little while, he handed me the string. Like magic, as I tugged on the string and let out a little more and more length, it would soar higher and higher. It took some getting used to, but I just loved watching that kite glide gracefully in the air.

Lessons Learned

Since that day in 1972, I have flown several kites.  I have also enjoyed some lovely occasions teaching my own children kite flying skills. One of the most powerful lessons I have learned in life I can trace back to that day, when I learned how to fly a kite.

Its as simple as this – as long as a kite is attached to a string, it will fly high up in the sky. You may think that since it is pulling and tugging on the string, that it would go higher if it was to be set free. But it is not so, if you let go of the string, it will just plummet to the earth. It seems odd that the very thing that keeps the kite down is actually what keeps it up.

And this is true not only of kites but of life.  

There are many strings tied to us from our childhood. Those rules and regulations that seem to hold us down, are actually holding us up. In my childhood, I began to understand.  Through life experience I grasped the value of obedience and compliance to rules and regulations. Obedience brings safety, peace and reassurance to one and all. Indeed obedience can be classified as a cure all, for a multitude of woes and challenges of society today.  Our success or failure will depend upon personal self-discipline and observance to the rules of life.

When I obey, I begin to understand.

In our families, our homes, our communities and our professional working lives, lets be obedient to the laws, the regulations and the guiding principles (the strings) set up so that like the kite, we too can soar high in all of our earthly pursuits – whatever they may be.