20 Comments

Come Unto Me #6 – A Little Divine Trickery

Moyie River valleyIt was late February of 2015 when the Lord began preparing me to quit my job.  I’m 62 years old, I’m in no way, by conventional measures, financially prepared for retirement, and I had planned on working another 8 years before even considering retirement.  Gradually, though, over the following 2 months, the idea of retiring early became more palatable.  I was gently prepared.  My fears slowly dissipated.

On March 13, His word was:

“You are in my hands.  Do not fear.  Love your job while you have it – while it is the season.  It is not yet time.  You will know.  Do not even ask me.  You will know.”

On April 24:

“Fear not – I will guide you and care for you.  Consider the lilies of the field.  I do not make idle promises, and this is my promise unto you.  I told you you would know when it was time to quit your job.  That time is the end of September.”

Two days earlier he had prepped me with:

Know that I need you to help bring about my strange act.  You must figure out how to liquidate your assets on Labor Day.    It is good that you buy a mobile trailer to live in.

Further communications that went un-recorded in my journal (my bad) made it increasingly clear where we were going and what we were going to do.  Prayerful requests by both Diana and me brought multiple confirmations.  We were off to Idaho!  Within 3 weeks we had found a beautiful, white (no decals or paint) used 5th wheel RV that we bought for 65% of its blue book value, and a reliable truck with minor body damage that lowered its price.

This past week, we took our 5th wheel RV and truck to our new home in the rural Idaho panhandle.  We haven’t “moved” yet, but we took that time to at least get that part of the move accomplished.  After we arrived, got the RV leveled out, and felt a bit settled, I went for a walk.  It was about 7:00 in the evening.  The sun was starting to set.  I wandered through the wooded part of the property and found my way to a steep overlook.  475 feet below were a river and a railroad track with a train snaking its way noisily through the canyon.  Around me were multiple species of both deciduous and conifer trees.  The grass in many places testified clearly of wildlife, probably deer, having made their bed there on multiple nights.  The air smelled clean, crisp…invigorating.  I was suddenly filled with joy as the realization of what was happening swept over me.  My dreams, dreams of a home with forests and wildlife and canyons and rivers, were coming true.  I found a stump, knelt down, and vocalized a short but sincere prayer of gratitude.  It was just me, the trees, the fresh air…and my God. Moyie River dam

That night at about 3:00 a.m., I walked outside, looked up at the stars, and within 5 seconds saw a falling star.  If you’ve read my conversion story, you know that this (falling stars) is a personal sign between the Lord and me.  I took it again as His sign of approval and assurance – not only for me, but for Diana and me as a couple – that we were where He wanted us.

So, I sacrificed.  You betcha.  I sacrificed a bunch.  I sacrificed my job.  Diana sacrificed her participation in a local gallery.  We’re selling our home at a significant discount to our son.  We sacrificed our future financial security (now – don’t laugh!)  We’re leaving our neighbors, our kids, grandkids, etc. to go do what the Lord has asked us to do.  Pretty significant sacrifices, right?

Well, I actually wonder if we really sacrificed anything at all.  You see, we took our retirement funds and invested in property.  We’re taking the equity from our home and paying off the RV, truck and mortgage.  We’re moving to a part of the country that is as beautiful, in its own way, as any habitable place I’ve ever been to ( I don’t consider the Grand Canyon habitable – just beautiful).  We’re probably going to learn, along with several other wonderful families, to farm, build, hunt, prepare food for long term storage, etc. We’re going to try to live Zion. We’re going to start a new life.  In our early 60’s, we’re suddenly filled with optimism, energy, purpose, enthusiasm, peace, and…love.

So, how much did we really sacrifice afterall?  I’m beginning to think that the Lord allowed me to think I was sacrificing and being obedient because that was the only thing that would motivate me to take these extreme steps – to get up off my butt, break out of my comfort zone, and take a risk.   I’m beginning to see this whole experience in a different light.  Instead of, “My son, I need you to sacrifice all things for me so that you can do my work”, it’s playing out more like, “Look, my son – I love you so much!  If you will just do these things, if you will trust me, look what a wonderful life you can have!  The dreams you’ve kept under wraps all these years can come true!  Again – trust me, relax (He says that to me a lot).  Put yourself in my hands, follow my guidance, and I will bring you joy, joy, joy!”

Moyie River bridgeOh, sure – we’re committed to spending the rest of our lives doing our part to build the Lord’s Zion.  There really is no “plan B” as far as that goes.  We’re going to be financially limited for the rest of our lives.  Diana has yet to acknowledge that she may not get to see the next James Bond or Star Trek movies – at least until they come out on DVD.  On the positive side, we’re going to have to use our talents – music, art, etc. for a real purpose.  We’re going to have to work – hard – to survive.  We’ll probably lose weight and return to our former slim, trim younger selves!  Furthermore, the Lord said above, “I don’t make idle promises”, and He has made some pretty amazing promises, the fulfillment of which is solely based upon our faith and obedience.

My first promise to God – some 18 years ago – was that I would “seek to know” Him.  I think this past week He showed me a really sweet, loving – even slightly capricious side of Him – if God can be called “capricious”.  It was like he had played a lovely, gentle private joke on me.  He had tricked me into doing something that I’ve always dreamed of – making me think I would be sacrificing for Him, when in reality, He was just loving me – loving me in a way that only my Heavenly Father (and Mother? and Savior?) could do.  I think now I know Him just a little bit more intimately now than I did before.  I think, as a result, I’m a little bit in awe of His loving nature.

The scriptures often paint a picture of a vengeful God of judgment, one who calls for the destruction of entire cities; strikes individuals dead for dishonesty; unleashes famine and war on a disobedient people; or promises eternal hell-fire and damnation to individuals who willingly and knowingly rebel against Him.  I do not embrace that image of God.  I’m much more worshipful of a God who, simply because I make a sincere, if forever imperfect, effort to know Him, follow Him, and emulate Him; and strive daily to bring about His Zion, concocts this plan to entice me to follow a path that He knows is going to enrich my life beyond anything I ever really thought possible – and He tricks me into doing so.  With His plan, dreams would come true that I had given up on long ago.  Yep – this is the God I know.  This is the God I worship.  This is the God I choose to emulate and to share with others…a God of love, a God of patience, and maybe even a God who can be just a little bit sneaky.  Today, I share this image of my God with you, and I do it in the name of Jesus Christ.  Can I get an Amen??!!!

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20 comments on “Come Unto Me #6 – A Little Divine Trickery

  1. This is a really lovely post Scott. Love and joy is exactly what we’re meant to find. I really appreciate your perspective in finding that joy and how there’s nothing that we sacrifice when we’re filled with God’s love. It’s just love, beautiful and wonderful and joyful. Thanks for expressing your thoughts, it’s awesome to see how God leads each of us to where He desires us to be and how that always brings joy.

    Best wishes and blessings in Idaho! I’ve been there and agree it’s awesome! 🙂

  2. Wonderful thoughts. True wealth is being content with what we have. You and Diana are truly wealthy.

  3. “Happiness does not come from getting what you want, happiness comes from wanting what you have.”
    As Pres. Kimball said, in the end we will find that it was no sacrifice at all!

    Look forward to seeing you again some day!

    Greg

  4. What a great example of “men are that they might have JOY”!

    I agree with you, the more my relationsip grows with Father and Jesus, the more I see they are so loving. It’s like everything is said with a big hug. Gentle guidance. I feel blessed to experience those relationships.

    Are there really 2 different sides of God? The God I see in the OT is so different. Jesus….so loving in NT. could God only be one way with us until the atonement…or Son in the flesh? Now because of that atonement…only love is seen and felt?

    Anyway….

    My husband and I are feeling the same pull. To quit job, (not ready, really….another 7-9 years needed), sell home, purchase camper move to remote area in a small, small home. Hunt, garden….etc. i love the idea, we’re just stuck on the ‘where’.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your new adventure.
    Best to you and Diana.

  5. Really intriguing thought there, Sue, about the atonement. Thank you for your kind words.

  6. AMEN indeed! Thank you, thank you, and thank you for sharing your journey and this part of the Lord with the rest of us. 🙂

  7. So you’re living in an RV?! That’s awesome! We lived in one the last 9 months and are in transition mode living with my husband’s parents until we can get one that will better meet our needs. We love the RV life. It sounds like you’re stationary. If you get to traveling, we really have loved Thousand Trails- nice campgrounds and the membership makes it very affordable.
    As far as the dreadful God of the old testament, a study of catastrophism has really helped me come to peace with it. God was seen as a vengeful God because there were many catastrophic events happening when the planets were nearby. Events that nearly wiped out all of civilization. The exodus and all of the miraculous events surrounding it was powered by a nearby planet. People were afraid of comets because they were nearby planets, namely Venus. The ancients worshiped planets, these were their gods. Even the Isrealites had a had time not worshiping the planets/stars (used interchangably). These were the gods. And they destroyed. You can learn more about this in the Thunderbolts Project YouTube videos, and studies in the Electric Universe. Joseph Smith taught these principles too, but because it doesn’t jive with current scientific thought, it has been thrown under the rug. The message that God has a body of flesh and bones and that we are created in His image is a critical thing to know. And it is that God of flesh and bones that is the loving, merciful and kind; the God that you know and love. Anthony Larson and Kipley Farr (YouTube alias, Questions for the Brethren) have done a lot of research and teach on the Mormon and Christian connection to the Electric Universe.

    • Tamsyn, we’re not actually living in it yet – we just took it up there and dropped it off while we sell our home and get ready – hopefully in the next month – to move permanently. We will be stationary, though, and thanks for the advice.

      I am away of Anthony. I read his trilogy of books, and attended 2 or 3 of his on-line classes. I agree very much that the old testament is largely man’s interpretation of what happened – attributing it to a capricious, vengeful God – creating God in their own image. Speaking of that – I guess I’m creating God (learning of His nature) in my own image, too, but that image is of a loving, patient, forgiving God – the kind of being that I desire to be. Hmmm…I wonder if there’s another blog post.

  8. Wonderful and beautiful! Wish we could come with you!

  9. Scott,
    Thanks for your posts. I find them inspirational. You have probably already heard about permaculture. I believe it to be a missing link for a Zion way of life. It is a practical and achievable way of living self sustainable. I really enjoy Geoff Lawton’s videos on how to do it. Could be useful for you up in Idaho. My family and I are currently looking for land to follow our inspiration.
    Good luck to you and your wife.
    – spencer

  10. does sound like trickery

  11. Pondering – my apologies. I thought you said, “doesn’t” sound like trickery”. thanks for reading.

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