Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Parable of the Frozen Pond: Part 2

 You start, looking up at the source of the voice.   You rub your eyes again, because you can't be seeing what you're seeing.
 It's you.
  But a you from a long time ago.  You can't be older than 10, yet there you are, smiling warmly, knowingly, at yourself.
 "Don't be afraid. I'm here to help you. Uh..me. Us."
 You don't know what to say.  You don't know if you can speak, anyways.  Thankfully, the young you continues, "There's something you need to know about this pond. It isn't just any pond.
 It's your heart."
 "We all have a heart within us, much like this pond.  It swells and ripples, some places are deep, and others are shallow.  The pond is deeper where we feel deep love for people, like our friends or family.  Other parts are shallow, like your love for a good movie or slize of pizza."
 "Sometimes the water is disturbed, roiling and crashing on the shore as you face adversity in life.  Emotions like anger, doubt, fear, and jealousy disturb the waters of the pond"
 "Other times, it is still as glass, reflecting the beauty all around it.  As the waters cease to roil, you can see the clarity of the water, and the depths beneath.  It is a beautiful thing to behold, and is a benefit to all who are near."
 "Your heart was once like this: free, clear, beautiful.  That's why I am here.
 "What is your heart now?"
 Having regained a little composure, you choke out a reply.

 "That's right," replies the little you, still smiling, yet a little somberly. 
 "You see, just as water can stagnate, so can the heart.  Just as a pond can freeze, so can the heart.  How does a pond freeze?"
 "Well, it has to be cold," you reply.  "Right?" you add on, uncertainly.
 "That's right, and now we're to the point of why I'm here.
 I'm here to teach you about the Atonement of Jesus Christ."

 "We are shaped by every decision we make in life.  Every choice, every action, has eternal consquences we can't begin to fathom. From the time you were little, you have been making choices that have slowly affected your pond.  As you stepped onto the ice, what did you see?"
 You ponder the question a moment before you answer. "I saw everything," you answer, "Everything I've ever done wrong.. Every hurt I've ever dealt.  Every sin I've ever committed."
 "Oh no," replies little you, "that wasn't everything. That was just a mere fraction.  If you were to behold every sin, wrong, and misdeed you had committed, you wouldn't be able to live with yourself.  Remember the story of Alma the Younger? He was 'harrowed up by the memory of his many sins', so much that he was unconscious for the span of three days! That didn't happen to you, did it?" the little you adds with a smile.
 "I guess not," you admit.
Your youthful doppelganger continues, "What you saw was to help you understand why are you standing on this icy pond.  It hasn't always been this way.  In fact, not too long ago, this was a beautiful place.  The water was clear, and the sun shone in its radiant warmth all the time.  At night, the stars reflected on the surface like a mirror.  Birds sang, and deer came to drink every morning.
  Your heart used to love. It used to bask in the warmth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
 There is no warmth now."

   Those words hit home.  You wipe the frozen tears from your cheeks and look up to the little you.  "Ok, you're right.  Maybe I've been feeling a little more impatient lately.  I know I can be a bit nicer and giving and stuff I guess. I know I've been skipping out on church too... but it's not my fault!" the words start coming faster now, and you feel heat rising in your face.  "I've been working all the time, and I don't get paid enough, and you've seen the people I work with!  I mean, no I'm not perfect, but I'm trying! I don't think I'm any worse than the next guy! And so what if my pond is icy?! Maybe I like having an icy pond!  There's nothing wrong with that! I like to skate!" you add on almost as an afterthought, oblivious to the humor of the statement.
 The silence that followed seem to hang in the icy air.
After what seemed like eons, your youthful voice breaks the silence. "You're right.  You aren't perfect.  And you aren't 'worse than the next guy'.  There are many frozen ponds in the world today.  It is a very cold place, bereft of the love and peace and warmth that can only come from Son.
 Too many are lost.  Too many have grown cold.  Too many don't even know how to find the warmth they seek. A heart that loves Christ, and his fellowman, is a precious commodity indeed.  You knew this once. You felt this once. The reason your pond is frozen isn't because the Savior has turned away.  His loving arms are always open to us.  You are the only one who can choose to come to Him, and He is the only one who can thaw your frozen heart.  That is why I'm here.
 Now let's melt the ice."

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