"Each individual has inestimable worth and something unique to contribute to others"
-My Daddy David
Sometimes on the 18th day of the month, I yearn for home. I miss the warmth of family and friends in the mountains of Inkom and the streets of Woods Cross as I am here in my L.A. surroundings. I long for a home, the stability and contentment that I feel has eluded me like chasing a butterfly since Marshall's death. I don't think home is a place as much as a people.
Did you know some monarch butterflies go 3,000 miles every year back home? Or even more compelling is the arctic tern who travels 60,000 miles a year back to ANTARCTICA!? Hello!? Antarctica??? What's the appeal there in the freezing temperatures? I came to LA for some warmth. If I could talk to them I would love to ask them how in the world they know their way around the world without Siri. I can barely make it down the street without her. But more importantly I would like to ask them how in the world do they know where home is? I relate in that I can never forget the winding Rapid Creek roads back to the mountains of Inkom that were my home as a child. I even helped my grandpa McKee build some of those roads. I had no idea at the time how valuable it was for my wonderful grandfather to allow myself to be a female engineer at such a young age. Not the kind of engineer that has an engineering degree and gets paid loads of money for all their projects. The kind of engineer that is holding really expensive equipment in the middle of nowhere to be sure the road does not exceed a certain gradient for free for their dear grandpa that always gave his grandkids tootsie rolls. At that age, it was just practical and useful; not something I realized would be such a neat contribution to others on their trips up the steep canyon. Word of warning: cellular navigation is mostly non existent on the canyon roads. These country roads will serve for years to come, past his recent death and eventually past my own death, to bring people back home.
If one thinks of Lehi's dream and the long and arduous journey back home to the fruit is it really about the fruit or is it about the people who take the journey with us? For the monarch butterfly is it the place they are going or the other butterflies they are traveling with? Emerson said, "Life is a Journey, Not a Destination". Our most important acquaintance on our journey may be Christ who's been down this dark road before and knows the way toward the light. If you find yourself on the path needing to reacquaint or recommit yourself to Christ then do it now. What blessing do you really desire? More than anything else, good health, prosperity, success- I would like exaltation. With exaltation, no matter what things went wrong in this life or what wrong turns I made into darkness, detours I took, or back roads I followed before realizing they led to nowhere, I have a chance to figure out how it all works and map it out if I have forever. Oh how very grateful I am for the company other travelers give me on my detours and main roads instead of as a lone monarch butterfly fluttering aimlessly- 'minha mariposa' as Marshall would call me. Being stretched and painfully morphed into a whole different being is also a necessary part of our journey if we ever want the wings to fly back home. "Bind me not to the pasture, chain me not to the plow. Set me free to find my calling and I'll return to you somehow" Marta Keen.
When we see others along our journey home being morphed in their cocoon, shaped, polished, we need not judge, compare, or feel less than. Don't be distracted so much by the comings and goings of other travelers that you get run over in your own path or wander aimlessly and not learn and do what God intended for you to do on your journey. "No time to tarry here, no time to wait for you, no for I'm on my journey home". Bad things and pain happen to good people because He wants us to learn about His existence, His purposes, and His timing and become all that we can; to give us our own beautiful set of wings with their own unique and distinct set of markings unlike anyone else's. We won't learn those things or we will miss out on all that He wants us to become in our life if we are too distracted, too self-absorbed, or too busy flaunting our colors to reach out to others in the midst of their struggle to morph. We can get out of the dark and dreary parts of our journey home and find the light by focusing on others and helping them overcome their dark and dreary moments, by discovering and developing our own spiritual gifts, and by asking the Lord about what specific assignments he has for us to do just like the specific assignments my grandpa would give me while building roads.
You have divine assignments specific for you. The Lord has more in mind for you than you have in mind for yourself. If you are reading this asking yourself if you can make an important contribution to the world you can. Think of Stephen Hawking and all the limitations he had during his time in mortality. Yet, look at what he was able to accomplish! Write down what you're grateful for and do not let life's distractions eclipse the light you have to shine to others along the journey back home. Don't let rocky, steep mountains stop you from carving out the roads you were meant to build on your journey home. "If I could move this mountain before me, then I would lose the faith that He can do it for me".-Marshall Jensen. Marshall’s last words to his friends and family at the end of his epic journey were, “See you when we get Home”. How grateful I am that my grandpa McKee had the patience and took the time to allow me to contribute to the building of the roads of life. We each have an inestimable worth and something unique to contribute.