I was at the Provo temple and a man came in with a blind son clinging to his shoulder. They both looked content and it was a sweet thing to see—but that’s just it. Immediately I asked myself, “Steve, what would you pay of everything you currently possess to be able to see the light of day again? Are there any physical possessions you wouldn’t give up to see color or rainclouds or good people?” I realized then that I am walking around with all the riches of the world right here in my head.
I recently read an article in the Deseret News about cytomegalovirus that reminded me how blessed we are.
Brain damage, deafness and other birth defects are among potential problems… Studies suggest early treatment with anti-viral medicine may limit hearing loss and may benefit the child’s development, too.
Abby participated in those very early experimental studies, and has provided data to be able to support the use of early anti-viral treatment for other children. Utah just so happens to be the only state that requires screening for CMV following a failed hearing test, and there were knowledgeable people residing in Utah at the time of Abby’s birth who had studied cases all over the world and were considered leading experts. It’s truly a miracle that all of this was available to us right when we needed it.
Abby’s hearing in her opposite ear and her eyesight all check out just fine. I know that not everyone has been so fortunate, and my heart goes out to those families whose life trials have included extreme complications with a variety of diseases and ailments. There will come a day when all such burdens are taken away and all bodies are refreshed and restored. Our family has been overwhelmingly blessed through these mortal years, but we are most grateful for the eternal promises that are offered to every family that follows the Savior. Through thick and thin, we will always try to side with Him.
“While some very intelligent and insightful people might believe our more complex time demands ever more complex solutions, I am far from convinced they are right. Rather, I am of the frame of mind that today’s complexity demands greater simplicity…”
– Elder L. Tom Perry (April 2014)
This post will be part of an ongoing examination of the quality or condition of simplicity. I am convinced that some of our biggest challenges in this modern era are immorality and life dilution. Regarding the latter, we chase after the wrong things, we over-complicate, and we get distracted. Life is far more simple than we are led to believe. The adversary wants us to be confused, muddled, overwhelmed, and fearful, but gospel light is pure, clean, and bright. It doesn’t resolve itself in complex, convoluted frequencies, but is calm and serene. It is simple.
I hope to continue to pare down our family’s distractions to focus on the very best and most important. I don’t want our children to think that life is a chaotic mess with thousands of concerns and matters to be addressed. A tight, simple focus on obedience and righteousness in clean, simple surroundings is a formula for peace. I believe this philosophy will simplify the challenges our kids will face and will be a reassuring force in their lives. The simpler our instruction and resolution, the clearer their choices will be. The more we panic, program, and “policize” (to coin a word), the more we inadvertently clutter their sphere of agency.
Wednesday, Lily and I decided to participate in Lent (in our own custom way). Lily has started 40 days of cleansing where she chooses a single spot in the home and purges it of impurities (or clutter). My sacrifice is giving up computer usage when I get home from work. Unless I’m doing something for my calling, school, or employment, I am computer-free in the evenings! I’ve already enjoyed the extra time and am in the process of planning my evenings a little better for the coming month. I can definitely see this becoming a family tradition.
On March 1, Lily and I enjoyed a tasty meal at Dave & Cranky’s, a cool little place south of campus that’s way out of a student’s price range. Fortunately, we had a Groupon deal that brought it down into the realm of fancy-date-night possibility. We certainly weren’t disappointed! Lily got the Pan Roasted Chicken with Savory Waffles, while I had the Cut of the Day Steak with parmesan rosemary fries and garlic green beans. A little cheesecake for dessert? Yes. Yes to everything—it was all delicious.
Afterwards, we drove around and looked for homes for sale in Provo. Which are expensive. Even more expensive than Dave & Cranky’s meals! And for anyone else who’s looking at homes and habitats to purchase, here’s a tip for you: do not go look at houses in Michigan or Texas while shopping for a home in Provo, Utah. The house you can get in those two other states compared to what you can get here in Utah is enough to make you pack your wagons and head back east.
Still, wherever we end up, I’m sure glad to have Lily by my side. We’ve got a great thing going, her and I.