Monday, September 5, 2016

Porta-Potty Pondering

The air was cool and humid, and permeated with the unholy and pungent stench of human waste. The constant sound of rain drumming on the green plastic roof vibrated the air, battering it's way through my ears and into my thoughts. The poor lighting filtering through both cloud and translucent plastic only dimly illuminated the cramped enclosure I was squatting in, revealing the nauseously green stall I inhabited. In my hand, I held fast to some miscellaneous stationary we had found previously while rummaging through the car in desperation*. I clung to these papers as if they were my only lifeline to the world I had once known.

It was in such destitute circumstances that I had a very surreal moment, suddenly realizing where I was, and what had become of my life, and also that it was my 19th birthday. You know, life certainly likes to throw some nice curve balls. It was also in those infelicitous circumstances that I suddenly had two very strong feelings overcome me: Humor and gratitude.
If you had told me 11 months ago that a time would come on my mission that I would be compelled to use a dilapidated old porta potty in the midst of an unexpected rainstorm on my mission, I probably would have laughed and called you a deluded old heifer. If you had told Elder Miller before his mission that he would spend 3 months constantly accompanied by an albino Fijian, he probably would have guffawed and punched you in the shoulder. (I am not an albino Fijian, but one of his previous companions was).

My point is, life is pretty absurd, and we never really know what sort of things are going to happen to us. However, I certainly wouldn't have it any other way. It is the details, and the unexpected moments, and the sweet moments, and the embarrassing moments, and the moments of inertia that make life real. It is the hard times, and the confusing times, and the times of learning that help us to grow, and to become something. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father, who I know is molding me into a better person, a better father, a better son, a better citizen, a better husband. That is what I want to be, but I have no power in and of myself to bring those changes to past. It is only through the Atonement, through mercy, through faith and through trials that we can be refined and become a person we would have never expected.
I am also very grateful for a sense of humor. A sense of humor can turn an embarrassing moment into a golden memory. It can turn a pathetic romance into a cherished experience. I am just very grateful for the truths that can help us become more brilliant and valiant Sons and Daughters of our Father in Heaven. 
1 Corinthians 15:10 
Who have you become through the grace of Jesus Christ? What is your fondest dream? If it is in line with God's will for you, you can have it if you are faithful. (See the words to the hymn, "I Believe In Christ).
Anyway, I guess that is all I have for the week. I love you all, and thank you to those who sent me birthday messages.

Elder Benge
*There was no toilet paper in the Porta potty, hence the miscellaneous stationary.

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