One of the things I like to do is listen to past BYU devotionals. This one entitled, Vision in the Wilderness, was given by Elder Wickman at BYU Idaho on March 27, 2012. It was such a great devotional!
Elder Wickman talked how we are living in a, wilderness we call mortality—and that, like Lehi, we can experience revelation in this wilderness. But we must look upon this wilderness experience as a time of refinement, or, to quote the words of another Book of Mormon prophet, as a “time to prepare to meet God” (Alma 12:24, 34:32). Visions come in the Lord’s time, not in our own time; but Lehi’s experience teaches that they do come if we are preparing for them.
Elder Wickman talked about four lessons we can learn in the wilderness:
- Remember! The fruit of the tree sustains in the wilderness. Devour it!
- Remember! The Iron rod brings safe passage through the wilderness. Grasp it!
- Remember! Opportunity is created by the wilderness. Seize it!
- Remember! Roses bloom, even in the wilderness. Take time to smell them!
I especially liked this last story he told reminding us to take time to smell the roses:
Finally, I come now to my fourth “wilderness lesson.” Roses bloom, even in the wilderness. Take time to smell them! When I urge you to move forward toward life and career with vigor and purpose, I mean to suggest a brisk, purposeful march, not a headlong, pell-mell sprint that shuts out everything else that is worthy and enjoyable in a beautiful world, leaving you exhausted, empty, and “burned out.” In my experience, if some of us are seduced by the trial of ease, others of us become bewitched by the pursuit of fame and fortune to the exclusion of all else. Balance is needed.
By way of illustration of that point—and the beauties that are out there for our enjoyment if we will but pause to do so—I share with you this piece that appeared a few years ago in the Washington Post:
“A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
“Three minutes went by, and a middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
“The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tugged him along, hurried, but the [lad] stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
“In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
“No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.”1
Here is the Washington Post article about Joshua Bell's experience in the Washington DC metro station.
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