Monday, October 20, 2008

Facebook and the Celestial Kingdom

Don't think I'm too much off of my rocker with today's blog post. I have a point with it :).

I'm not really sure what happened last week, but for some reason, I sat down with some thoughts in my head about who I'd like to see and what they were up to. There are quite a few people I've wondered about over the years, and each time that I've thought to look for them, I've come up empty handed. This week, I just felt an urge to do a little bit of poking around and posting some thoughts and comments to some friends Facebook walls, because, really, that's the whole point of a "social network", right? We invest time and effort into fostering and rekindling relationships because these people matter to us... at least that's how I tend to view them.

I had a strong impression that this was the time I should do some direct name searches, and see if those people who had eluded me in other ways could be found... and find them I did, in spades! The most surprising was a dear friend from high school that I'd long since thought I'd never see again... and it turns out she was living in the same house she grew up in. She ribbed me a little and said "if you would have just called the number you knew from high school, I would have answered".

I found something very profound in that statement... a part of me had long wondered how this person was doing, but for some reason I never thought to just go and contact the home and family where she used to live. Instead, I'd poke my nose around sites on the web, looking to see if I might somehow run across her, maybe do some kind of drive by "hey, I just found you here, how cool is that?", and somehow feel content that I'd made a connection with somebody. How many years ago could I have just screwed up the courage to make a phone call and say "hey, I was thinking about you, and I wanted to know how you were?" Part of me felt like I was being nosey, like I was butting into someones life, and did I really think I had a right to do that. It may sound silly, but these are things I think about.

I realized that a lot of the time, I do the same thing with Heavenly Father and with Jesus Christ as relates to my interaction with the Gospel. I'm perfectly content to have these roundabout experiences where I try to find something or have something pertinent to the gospel appear in my life, but the simple and most direct route, that of just going up to my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ and saying "help me to have this" or "teach me to walk in the light", those are the things that make me nervous or intimidate me. Maybe it comes down to fear, wonder if we have any business asking. To use my Facebook analogy, in many ways, I felt like going to this old friends house or calling that number would be a strange thing to do, like I would be an intruder, and who did I think I was, anyway? It's only after we make that contact and realize, "Silly dude, of course you could have called or contacted me. That's what friends are for, right?"

Since more times than not, I make these notes for my own memory rather than for any necessary entertainment value for others (although hey, if you enjoy reading them, that's a definite bonus :) ), I felt the need to write this entry today. The feeling of reuniting and rekindling friendships, that sense of relief that I'm welcome in someones life, that there's good feelings and good memories and, sometimes, forgiveness for past oversights or bad actions, has been such a wonderful blessing to me today. I'm on a natural high from a number of conversations I've had, and I think that, in a way, I've had just a little bit more of a peek as to what the Celestial Kingdom might actually be like, and what kind of attributes a person needs to have to feel comfortable there. What's more, I've realized that, if someone matters to you, it's a good bet that you may actually matter to them, too. Still, there's really only one way to find out. If there's someone you've been wondering about, try to find them. Directly. Stop with the roundabout "Oh, I'll ask a friend of a friend, or check some site some place"... go directly to the source if you can, say hello and explain what you are doing and why you are doing it. Then let the chips fall where they may. It's entirely possible you may not be welcome, and you will know that soon enough. It's also possible that those people will be really happy to have heard from you, and your knowledge and experience of those people, and your potential future interaction with those people, will be greatly enriched. Again, potential shades of the Celestial Kingdom right here and now... I think I can deal with that :).

1 comment:

~pollyanna said...

GREAT post!!! (and I also loved your political one...)