Friday, May 27, 2016

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Five Loaves and Two Fishes

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Hey four lookin' at me?

Sometimes life can get so overwhelming with just the normal, everyday, seemingly tedious activities we must complete. When a trial shows up at our door, it can add more distress to us and our families. It is easy to loose hope and dream to just eat chocolate ice cream on the couch and wish for re-runs of "I Love Lucy" to grace Netflix with their presence. She makes craziness look so fun and after all, by the end of the day, everything is ok again. 

At our stake conference recently President Sanders talked about drowning rats (yes, that does sound like something Lucy might accidentally do, but...) there was actually a study done on how long rats could tread water until they (almost) drown. After about 15 minutes, the rats would tire and give up and (nearly) go belly up. The researcher(s) would then take the rats out, dry them off, let them rest and then see what happened when they went in the water again. This time, they stayed afloat for 60 hours!! Whaaa? Super rats? Why and how could that happen? What was the difference in the first and second "laps" in the little rat pool? The study concluded that it was because the rats had hope. Hope that they would be rescued again. 

Where are we without hope? Hopeless. Without hope, faith really struggles to fit in our lives too. 

When Christ was teaching the 5000 men (and their families) he used an amazing tool to help them He had seen a multitude of people and had already had a long day and was tired. He asked Phillip where they could buy enough bread to feed the people.

Phillip said they couldn't buy food for all these people (he was thinking logically...). Then Andrew, the brother of Peter said, "There is a lad here who hath five barley loaves (yuck) and two small fishes. That was all there was. He looked to heaven, blessed the food and broke it to share among the people. They were filled. The miracle is that there was enough to fill not only baskets for the apostles to distribute the food, but had 12 baskets of leftovers!! Incredible!! Sadly though, it was quickly written off and forgotten. 

James E. Faust in a talk in 1994 called, "Five Loaves and Two Fishes" explains that when we seem to not have much, but we offer it to the Lord, He can work miracles through us. He says that technology is miraculous and should be regarded as such. It is easy to be written off.  People who may think they have little talent but develop more because they were asked to by Him witness mini or mighty miracles. 

 He says:

 "Many nameless people with gifts equal only to five loaves and two small fishes magnify their callings and serve without attention or recognition, feeding literally thousands."

We don't have to be beautiful, with spotless homes and seemingly perfect lives to "feed" others. We can be the vehicle to feed hope to others. We can spread messages of good. We can serve where others may not dare tread. We can pray for the leaders of the countries of the world. We can also accept the Lord's will no matter how hard it might be to accept.

We can be like Phillip and say any number of things were impossible.


We can be like Andrew and say, "This is what we do have. How do we make it work?"

It is easy to be Phillip. I have been Phillip. I try not to be like Phillip was in this case and see beyond what is in front of my face, and see situations and people as the Savior would have me see it/ them. It is tough, but like Andrew took a leap,  saw a sliver of silver lining, he helped serve well over 5000 people in the process (only with the help of Jesus Christ of course). 

Some of the talents that will be able to bring hope in the future and multiply miracles are people who:

  • Can build and repair
  • Can organize
  • Can calm
  • Use various spiritual gifts
  • Can mediate
  • Can motivate
  • Basically live the Law of Consecration etc.

Though I still "Love Lucy", her stories are still fictitious. When it comes down to it, and someday we may have to live on what we have stored (spiritually and physically) we may witness miracles when there is enough and even to overflowing. This is real, even when it may have seemed impossible before. 

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