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Saturday, April 12

Gratitude, Spring Soccer and the "effectual struggle".

Sometimes you just have good days.  Not like Disneyland good days.  But just days where you feel content and really grateful.  Today just turned light.  Maybe it was getting off of work at 2 and knowing that I was officially on Spring Break.  It may have been meeting up with Kelsey at the gym to do some gymmy things.  Or getting cafe rio tostadas afterwards?  I think it was that at 4, with frozen yogurt in hand, we made our way back over to the school and perched ourselves on a perfectly warm, sunlit hill overlooking the Salt Lake valley, the wasatch mountains AND the phall high soccer field.  As we walked to the hill my students yelled, "Spraz, you came" and "cheer for us in Spanish again like last time".  It was fun that they were so excited to see me and just added my feeling lighthearted.  Watching the game made me feel nostalgic about all of the Saturday games I attended for each of my four younger siblings.  Ha!  And I still can't explain what "offsides" is.  None of this might seem like a big deal to you, and that's okay.  I'm just grateful for some really simple things that I had stopped appreciating.

There's something about Spring that just turns me grateful.  Seeing some flowers on trees, and green in fields, it staying lighter longer (almost 8 o'clock now!), the feeling that the school year is getting closer to the end, and the Easter message of hope in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I like the "newness" vibe of Spring and that makes me want to be more optimistic.  I think that explains why I read the scripture Mosiah 7:18 differently the other night.

So let me briefly summarize the situation first and give a little history.  A group of Nephites had left Zarahemla (with a guy named Zeniff as their leader) and gone back to the land of Nephi to "claim their inheritance" in the land of more about it HERE (verses 27-30).  We all know the story of Zeniff's son King Noah, and then his son is King Limhi you can read about in Mosiah (chapters 7, 8 and 21...and everything in between for the whole story).  King Limhi and his people are not doing too hot (and in, like, major bondage to the Lamanites) when they are discovered by Ammon (from Zarahemla).  There's a ton of rejoicing because they're happy that their brothers in Zarahemla are doing well, happy that they might have help to get them out of their mess/bondage and happy that Ammon has brought them some of the words of the amazing King Benjamin.  And then verse 18 is King Limhi addressing his people after all of this rejoicing...

"18 And it came to pass that when they had gathered themselves together that he aspake unto them in this wise, saying: O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there bremaineth an effectual struggle to be made."

For some reason I had never bothered to look up what effectual means and assumed it meant like a never-ending or repeating struggle.  Here's what effectual means:

adjective: effectual
  1. 1.
    (typically of something inanimate or abstract) successful in producing a desired or intended result; effective.
    "tobacco smoke is the most effectual protection against the mosquito"
    "effectual political action"

OH MY GOSH.  I love effectual struggles.  I love this scripture.  Sometimes we feel like maybe we have struggled in vain, that our suffering and fighting didn't even accomplish anything for us.  King Limhi was hopeful but honest that their future would be a struggle BUT that is would be an "effective, successful, productive, worthwhile, advantageous, valuable" struggle.

Believing that you have an effectual struggle left to fight is so hopeful, just like Spring, and now you get why Springtime made me read this scripture differently.