You're sitting on a crowded bus headed home after a long day at work. Your feet are swollen a bit, you've been standing most of the day. Darkness has finally laid a blanket over the day, and you feel suddenly exhausted. It's impossible for anyone to feel as tired as you do right now. You lean your head against the window as the bus stops to pick up new passengers As you close your eyes to rest, suddenly screaming and laughter break your solitude. Instead of peaceful slumber suddenly you find yourself agitated and annoyed at your current surroundings. It's late! Why are there children on the bus? You wait for what seems like an eternity for the children to take their seats, but nothing. In a rush of frustration you walk over to the father of these little rug-rats and look at him with a serious stare "Sir," you begin, "It's incredibly late, and your children are very loud. Will you please try to quiet them?" The father looks up at you with tears in his eyes. Suddenly you feel quite guilty inside. "Sir?"
"I'm sorry ma'am. I know they're our of control. But their mother just died, and I don't know what to do."
Can you imagine? What would you feel as you stood their in your own personal frustration, maybe compassion would replace your contempt, or kindness would envelope your annoyance. Suddenly, you're no longer angry. What you just felt was a paradigm shift.
Often in my life, my parents have encouraged me to look at something from another direction. To take a 'fresh look' at the situation so that I could better understand what was going on. Sure this is important when your 16 and trying to find a solution to the student council budget for prom, but it's even more important in an eternal sense. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that he provided a way for us to experience this change of heart and mind through our Savior Jesus Christ. This process is called repentance.
I know what people think when they hear that word, because I use to feel the same way. But I've had a paradigm shift myself, repentance is a really wonderful thing, it's truly the way God has provided for us to be more like him. You could probably list of 5,000 things that are wrong with you, and maybe even more, but how would it be to know that you could overcome all of those shortcomings? To know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you could be better, better then you could ever imagine? This is the beauty of repentance.
To repent is to establish a fresh view about life, God, and yourself by re-aligning your will with the will of our Heavenly Father. Repentance is not an easy process, but I promise it is easier than carrying a ten thousand pound burden on your shoulders. How would you feel to take that burden off and leave it somewhere else? How would you feel to be clean? I know that it is possible, the Savior of the world said,
" 28. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29)
There is a way back, and that process starts with a faith that leads you to partake of the Savior's atonement through repentance. Start with a prayer. I promise you that you cannot relieve the burden you feel by yourself, but with the saviors help, "all things are possible" (Mark 10:27).
Sometimes we are like the crabby lady on the bus, tired, and swollen, and all we want is to be home, but if we took the time to wipe the dirt from our window, we might see the whole situation with a little more light. Remember to clean your windows, through repentance, and I promise as you do, you really will see everything with a new understanding.