It’s been blowing quite nicely outside; today it rained. It’s Saturday night, the 20th.
On Thursday the 18th, I saw… yes… Elena. As nice as she is, and as dignified, I think I don’t know enough about her to ponder aught but that already-said "friendship".
Elena’s fancy is to find the slightest reasons to praise people… I’m flattered when it’s me, but of course I have to deflect or counter it, which makes me start to wonder what motivates her approach. One of her encouragements last night was that I take a more active role in shaping things. I tried to explain how (although God is assuredly a director,) the Godlier path is to spend life invisibly, behind the scenes, not on stage. Those honoured in this world are those who will next find themselves supplanted by the meek. And the prophets, whom we account worthy of honour? Blest as their names are on our lips, I must conclude that they will find themselves among many yet unheard-of peers in those divine courts.
Yes, that must be our doctrine, being that God only knows the hearts of men. If his judgments aren’t by sight, then heaven’s righteous will be those whose rightness this earth never guessed.
Then what honour do we owe the prophets? Only as much as we owe any other man for service done. Let’s not tempt God’s servants with pride.
You famous, beware. There’s only one place to go from the top. Spend your whole lives in sincere consecration, and you will just barely enter into heaven’s favour. And you at the bottom, covet nothing; gratefully rejoice in your own nothingness, as your Heavenly Celebrity is also Nothing in the eyes of this vast brood of his arrogant, spoilt children. And still he gives them whatever service he possibly can — so let our "nothingness" be no different.
But unrecognized God is still a ruler and king. Then, in what is found our royalty, our excellence? If God is still a shaper of destiny, then how do we shape our world?
Simply by stretching both our arms out to our sides. We reach out… as FAR as we can… Stretch…!
…And we feel our limits.
Our omnipotence lies directly between our two oustretched hands.
"Our world" and "our kingdom" is… ourselves. We surely have God’s power in this sphere — but no farther. We are "become as the gods, to know good and evil". And this body and mind, our talent and our dominion, is the destiny we can shape — the only thing we can control. From birth to death, this is our great work and our fame, to build up each of us this temple to God, to smooth out our defects and be fired gradually here so that his sudden fiery coming doesn’t shatter us.
Then what need is there of trying to reform this world by leadership, if our own devotion to God and his kin, those within our reach, doesn’t reform it already? And whether our placement here is high or low, conquering ourselves is already the greatest struggle and best victory we could have. Contrarily, if we wear ourselves out in supposed good living but neglect to save our own soul, then, though those others may have gained by us, we ourselves will have accomplished nothing and wasted our time. Unseen Eyes will view our deeds, yes, but we will wait in vain for those hidden Hands to extend their approbation.
Anyway, these ideas I tried to transmit to Praising Elena (in far fewer words).
Now, on Thursday, I met… Nguyen (Thi Kim) Chi in my music class. On Friday she (and another fellow, her pianist classmate) found Elena and me on the first floor at the piano and visited a while. Eventually Slovene Petra the library worker came (whom Elena, also a library worker, would be staying the night with) and escorted us to her apartment, where we dropped off our stuff. We two then walked down to the Conference Center and made our way inside and to our seats, then enjoyed a fairly pleasant patriotic show put on by the Utah Symphony and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, along with two guest singers and a guest conductor.
After that, I walked her back to Petra’s (up at Tugsuu’s old apartment building), gathered my things, and left. Elena handed me a bag of a few Almond Joy chocolates (I finished all but two). They walked me out a ways till I realized the time, then I left them and jogged down to the train stop. I caught it with just a few seconds to spare… It was nearly full of older people, the other concert-goers who’d gotten on at the previous stop. We at that platform topped it off…
I made it in time for the 10:30 bus up 3900 South. There were these two urchins there who looked about 12 years old and in love. I wondered if they were hungry…
Ah, I’m tired…