Bishop Goertzen was released today. He was called as Bishop of our ward when we split and became the 2nd ward 4.5 years ago. He was replaced by Bishop Laursen, who had served as a Counselor to Bishop Goertzen a few months ago. Bishop Goertzen did a great job, and Bishop Laursen will do a great job.
It’s funny to me that humans are so adaptable, yet we resist change. We are probably the most vulnerable species at birth, and our bodies aren’t protected from the elements like animals. We sunburn, and we get cold and wet. But we do have the mental capacity to create clothing and shelter, and overcome our natural shortcomings. Yet we resist change, even though it is a necessary and crucial part of life. Everything has a season, and God has given us the ability to experience different things and different times in our lives. It is so easy to drudge forward and not enjoy the things around us, especially as we struggle with trials and challenges. But I think life is to be enjoyed, and we should grab on to the people and experiences around us.
I rode the Juniper trail system with James Hoffman this morning. Then we decided to go ride Flintstone, the local downhill trail. I didn’t ride it last year, and rode it for the first time this year a few weeks ago. I thought the skinny jump was going to take me down, but I muscled through that jump. When I got to the eight foot gap jump I landed front tire first and almost shorted the jump with my back tire. I couldn’t leave it like that, so I went back to hit it again. I landed better, but I still wasn’t happy with the landing. Then I went for the teeter totter. This is what it did to me on March 15, 2012:
Four stitches. There is one under the skin to hold the flapped skin down.
That day I tried to hold my balance while waiting for the teeter to totter, but it took too long and I put my feet down to try and steady myself. Once it moved I lost my balance and fell off the middle, giving me the bruises and stitches. Today I decided to commit to staying on my bike, and I was able to hold my balance and roll out, conquering another smoky monster my from mountain bike past.
My wife’s grandmother passed away last night. She lost her husband a few years ago, and her health has declined in the last several years. She was lonely and I think she reached the point where she no longer wanted to be here. I think given enough time we would all feel like that. I think it is important to remember that this life is a short stop over when we consider where we came from and where we are headed. Sixty, seventy, or eighty years can feel like a long time, but pales in comparison to how long we existed as spirits before coming to earth. When the lights start to go out and we realize the inevitable is occurring, there is nothing wrong with welcoming what awaits us on the other side. We weren’t meant to be here forever. We are sad when we lose someone close to us. I still miss both sets of grandparents, and I still miss Theron. I think about them a lot. There is no doubt they are in a better place, and they don’t feel pain anymore. When God calls us home I don’t think we should be scared. I will be excited to be reunited with family and friends that have moved on.
I did a recent post about September weather. At the time the weather was warm and sunny, but it has rained the last two days, threatening to stop me from reaching my goal of riding 200 miles this month. I will not be held down. I committed to riding at least 17 miles today, but I was feeling strong so I went over 26 miles, hitting 202 miles for the month so far. Hitting 200 road miles is pretty easy in one month, but I rode my mountain bike nine times for 61 miles, and my road bike 11 times for 141 miles. Road biking is great conditioning and helps me when I mountain bike, and mountain biking is just awesome. I will spend the rest of the week on my mountain bike. Go exercise.
This morning we went to the first dedication session for the Brigham City Temple at our Stake Center. I think it was a great experience for my three oldest children to be a part of a Temple dedication. L. Tom Perry conducted the session, and Boyd K. Packer presided. President Packer commented about asking the Lord to keep him alive long enough to see the Temple dedicated since Brigham City is his hometown. The Brigham City Temple is the 139th operating Temple in the world. It is a testimony to me to see so many Temples around the world. I was especially surprised with the announcement of the Rome Italy Temple. I never thought I would see that day. We have many detractors, and they like to point to social issues as evidence that the Church isn’t true, when in reality they have never sought a testimony of the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith. Many of them are dissenters, just like in the Book of Mormon. That tells me we are doing something right. I know it is true because I have prayed about it. I know the Temple is the house of God.
We had six yards of concrete poured in our backyard and side yard this morning. The workers had to use wheel barrows to move it all, and they started before sunrise. After my ride I talked to one of the workers. I made a comment about how bad it must have sucked to have to move so much concrete in a wheel barrow since the job site was too far away to use the chute on the truck. He said, “It can be okay or it can be miserable. The important thing is the finished product.” I then stated, “It kind of sounds like life.”
I see so many people that are miserable, for many different reasons. Some are due to poor choices, others are due to doubt, and others are trying to fill the void with the wrong things. Lots of people want to play the victim and they want someone to take care of them. They don’t want the joy and satisfaction of being self reliant. They think it is the government’s responsibility, or their Church’s responsibility, but we know better than that. God expects us to be self sufficient and self reliant insofar as we are able. At times we all need help, but then we get back on our feet and move forward, helping others where we can. Because it is the right thing to do.
Anyway, it occurred to me that I could have been a lot more positive during the last two and half years. I tended to view my trial of unemployment as a punishment, not as a learning experience. Like the worker said this morning, it can be okay or it can be miserable. I was prone to feelings of misery and doubt. Why do we doubt the God who created us and everything in the universe? Because we are human and we are weak. But the thing that matters is the finished product. I want to try harder to be a better finished product.
September is an interesting month in Utah. You can’t quite tell if you are going to get warm days with cool nights, or if you get cold days that cut in to your biking time. So far we seem to be enjoying good weather and putting down more miles on the the bikes. Today I decided to change it up a little and hike in the foothills near my house. This is a view of Utah Lake from the top of the hill. It didn’t seem to be a hazy day, but maybe there was too much sun to get a clear picture. This also shows Max, my travelling companion. He would prefer to have me on my bike so we can move faster, but he loves to be outside either way. We don’t have jack rabbits to chase in the house.
This is the view overlooking Kiowa Valley and Silver Lake. Silver Lake didn’t exist when I moved out here. I can’t believe how much the area has grown. I hiked up the Flintstone trail up about halfway, then took another bike trail to see what it was like. After resting for a few minutes and taking pictures, I jogged down the hill for the house, a shower and a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. It’s nice to have biking and hiking trails so close. God put some cool stuff in Utah.
I meant to post this yesterday, but ran out of time. Friday night I decided I wanted to ride the Flintstone trail on Saturday morning before work. I hadn’t been on it for about two years. I don’t like to do that trail alone, because I prefer to have someone there if I crash. But it was time to be a man. I hit every jump and every wood feature. I took the eight foot gap jump in stride and never looked back.
I then rode my Specialized road bike to work, adding another five miles. After work I rode to Camp Williams, then to my daughter’s soccer game, adding another 12 miles. It was a beautiful mid-September day, and riding just felt like the answer.
Any musical group that sounds like a NYC skinny-jeans-wearing crapfest.
Today is Raquel Welch’s 72nd birthday. She has been on my list since I was a teenager. I think she is who convinced me that older women rule, which is why I choose like I did. You don’t even qualify her with “looks good for her age.” “Looks great” will do. Born the same year as Chuck Norris. Coincidence? I don’t think so.