Friday, December 16, 2005

Bandaids

Recently, part of an article in WIRED magazine detailed some of the struggles scientist are having in creating visual recognition software and hardware for a variety of uses. There are huge hurdles to still become in order to make machines "see" as we do.

Several years ago there was a movie with Val Kilmer called "First Sight". This true story told of the experience this man, who was blind since a toddler, had with a revolutionary surgery that "fixed" his blindness. One of the more powerful moments, for me, was when they first took the bandages from his eyes after the surgery. Basically, he freaked out. There was sight, but his brain was overwhelmed with stimulus that it didn't understand. He asked for someone to hand him something (a can of soda) and the process of feeling it with his hands (something his brain was wired to do) and then concentrating visually on it allowed his brain to make some new connections.

Contrast this with the scriptural accounts of the Savior healing the blind. Immediately they could not only use their eyes, but the complexities of sight that we learn from infancy were immediately provided to the brain. It was a complete healing. Medical science was able to help that man regain his optical abilities, but the road to actual seeing was a long and arduous one.

When we partake of the Atonement and "take his yoke upon us", we are offered that same outcome as the blind. A complete healing. I've struggled with addiction since I was in Jr. High. Even through out my years in the Church, I was back and forth. I'd go a month, maybe even three without an incident. Most of the time it was a "gritting my teeth, cold turkey" experience, because I tried to fix it myself. I thought that through sheer force of will, I could stop the behavior and be free from the shackles. I was wrong.

The past many months, I've been getting counseling from LDS family services. Through that process, I've learned about how the Lord heals, about submitting myself to him. The result is that for the first time in years and years, I have a Temple Recommend. I've been "sober" since June 22nd. The difference between now and then, is that I haven't been gritting my teeth trying stay straight. I've been healing. I still have a bit to go on this particular journey, but I'm so much farther along than ever before.

What I really think made the difference is that for the first time, I truly submitted myself to the Lord and His will. By working on keeping my mind and will an open vessel for the Savior to fill, He came into my life more completely, and began the work of fixing and healing my character. I'll admit that I have prayed more often during this time than previous, but if you look at my prayer life in comparison to the "LDS Standard", I'm still woefully inadequate. So it was brought on by prayer. Likewise, I'm still working on reading my scriptures regularly, so the answer isn't there either. It's been through the act of submission, guided by a very Christ-like counselor and a loving and tolerant bishop.

I more truly understand now what the Lord meant when He told us "Take my yoke upon you. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light". When we fully allow, without reservation or holding back, Jesus Christ to lead us, the miracles told in the Scriptures can become a reality in our lives.
10:52 AM by The Narrator  Link
Comments:
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everyday LDS guy.

I'm a 30-something husband and father of 5
living in the midwest. I joined the LDS Church
with my wife in 1993.

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