To the moon and back…

February 2014 052

The photo above shows some tiny metal shavings attached to picture.  The metal shavings aren’t terribly impressive, but what is amazing is that they were shaved from a small pin that was once part of the Apollo 11 Command Module – the same one that first took men to the moon.  It’s amazing to think where that bit of metal has been.

It makes me think a bit about sharing the gospel.  I know it sounds weird, but hear me out.  The metal shavings don’t look like much, but they are part of something much larger, something that changed human history – a man on the moon!  We each have the opportunity to share the gospel with those around us.  Sometimes we worry that our words and efforts are too small to be noticed or that people won’t take the gospel seriously because our simple words can’t even begin to describe the wonder that we feel inside.  And it’s true that our words can’t fully describe the full majesty of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but that’s okay.

When we share our testimonies of Jesus Christ those who are truly open to hearing His gospel will recognize our words for what they are – small and simple expressions of something so much larger.  They will realize that the message of Christ’s atonement and resurrection truly has changed the history and fate of mankind for all eternity.  And hopefully they will wish to join with us as we spread His word.

Moxie

After moving to New England a few years ago we came across a local tradition – Moxie.  Moxie is a type of soda that many residents will admit is an acquired taste.  Now sold in much more modern containers than the bottle shown above, it is a New England tradition.

It was originally called “Moxie Nerve Food” and was marketed as a patent medicine.  The inventor claimed it contained a secret South American plant that could cure paralysis, “softening of the brain” and a host of other ailments.

It was a favorite of President Calvin Coolidge and Ted Williams of the Red Sox.  Through clever advertising the term “moxie” has even entered the English language as a synonym for courage.

I think Moxie is a good example of how traditions evolve and it makes me think about other traditions, both family and cultural traditions.  Sometimes traditions are good and strengthen our families and our lives.  In our family these include things such as family prayer and scripture study.  Some traditions are fun, but aren’t really essential, such as our family’s tradition of always changing into new pajamas before opening our gifts on Christmas Eve.  Other traditions can be harmful, such as the family tradition of getting angry while driving.

Have you taken the time to reflect on which traditions are helping you and which are stunting your spiritual growth?  Just because something has “always been done that way” doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do things.  If it helps, continue it.  If not, then tomorrow is a new day and there is no reason to continue harmful traditions.