Elizabeth Willis Barrett
May 21, 2012
As I drive along the highway, I am usually oblivious to the mileposts set out every mile for the benefit of myself and other travelers. I notice trees, I notice clouds, I notice mountain formations. But mileposts don’t make it to my awareness. I’ve never used them. Recently, however, I had to tell a group of girls how to get to our cabin and mileposts were a very important inclusion in the directions. I now see their value and will try a little harder to notice them.
There are other mileposts that I need to pay more attention to. Spiritual mileposts.
Throughout my journey on earth I have received messages from Heaven that could be called mileposts from a loving Heavenly Father who knows me well and loves me anyway. Some of these messages come when I am sitting in the Temple waiting for a session to begin. I pick up the scriptures and let them fall open. Very often, the first words I see will be an answer to a problem I have been wrestling with at the moment.
One day in the Temple, I was, as usual, very concerned about my son whose addictions have worried our family for a long time. I silently prayed, “Please help me be at peace and to be happy no matter what choices Jeffrey is making. If there is something I am supposed to be doing concerning him, please tell me.”
I opened up the Doctrine and Covenants and these were the words I read:
“Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants.
“Wherefore, be of good cheer and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.” (D&C 68:5-6)
At the time, that scripture felt like an answer written just for my comfort. It calmed me and reminded me to testify of Christ--something specific that I could do for Jeffrey.
On another occasion, I opened the scriptures during a period of dissatisfaction. This time the book fell open to the Topical Guide. I thought I would have to let the book open again to a more promising section until I saw the words “Content: be content with such things as ye have.” It was a much needed message that I tried to internalize. I have to keep making myself remember that milepost.
One of the most direct messages came as I was driving to my oldest son’s home at 5:20 in the morning to watch his two young sons so he could go to work. When I’m in the car I never turn on the radio. I either listen to a book on CD or enjoy the silence. That morning I was enjoying the silence when it came to me that I should turn on the radio. That was an unusual thought. It briefly touched my mind that something would be on the radio at that moment that would be to my advantage. So I turned it on.
The song “Get Closer” was playing. I don’t know who had been driving my car last and left it on that station, but I heard, “Darlin’, if you want me to be closer to you get closer to me.” I didn’t have to ponder long to understand how those words pertained to me. Sometimes I believe that I am very close to Heaven but at that particular time I felt a bit estranged. I took that song as a powerful directive that I needed to be closer to the Lord and He wasn’t the One who needed to move.
The song “Draw Near Unto Me” would have been much more appropriate, of course, but I don’t suppose I’d ever hear that on the radio except maybe in Utah on a Sunday. The Lord used the available resources to get to me and I got the message.
The words “Darlin’, if you want me to be closer to you get closer to me” run through my mind often. They remind me that I can’t neglect my spiritual growth if I want to make the most of my time here on earth.
I am grateful for the little mileposts along the way manifesting that my Heavenly Father is aware of me and wants what’s best for me. I just need to pay attention and follow.