Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Life's Belly Aches

Yesterday, I took the "Belly Ache" challenge at a local ice cream shop called Ken and Betty's here in Lander, Wyoming. The challenge requires that the participant eats ten giant scoops of ice cream with toppings, whipped cream, and a cherry on each scoop. The estimated weight of the frozen dessert is around seven pounds. The goal is for the participant to finish the entire dish by his or herself. There is no time limit (Thank Goodness), and if the the participant completes the daunting task then their picture and name rests on the wall of fame, and they receive a T-shirt stating their victory. 

As I began to devour the monstrosity that laid before me, it became very clear that the task at hand was not going to be as easy as I had once thought. With each bite I took of the cold concoction, I felt my stomach turn. In a repetitive motion I filled the spoon with ice cream then placed it in my mouth.

Before too long, I had plowed my way through half of the plate of ice cream. My confidence grew and I honestly felt as though I could finish the ginormous plate of dessert. I ate, and ate and..... ate. After what seemed like an eternity I only had two scoops left. My confidence at this point had weakened and doubt began to enter into my mind. Slowly, I continued to fill the spoon, and placed the frozen treat into my sore mouth.

Finally, I had only a couple bites left. However, every time I put the spoon near my mouth I felt completely nauseous. I stared at the last couple of bites for a loooooonnng time. My stomach was becoming increasingly upset. Finally I had to grab the garbage can and lean my head over the opening. After a few seconds with my head over the garbage can, I was met with mercy as the 6.99 pounds of ice cream I had just consumed left my body and found it's place on the bottom of the garbage bag. After two or three upheavals of semi-digested ice cream, I regained composure and finished the last two bites of ice cream that were left on my plate.  I had made it to the end. Though I didn't make it to the end the way that I originally intended to, I was still allowed to have my picture and name placed on the wall of fame and receive a T-shirt reflecting my ungraceful defeat of the challenge.

Just like the "Belly Ache" challenge, we are often faced with daunting tasks in our everyday life. As we push forward on our own, relief from the stress that accompanies the task often seems impossible to find. However, as we continue to do the best that we know how, and allow the Lord to help us shoulder our burdens, the relief does come. The Book of Mormon testifies that the savior Jesus Christ will visit us during our afflictions. "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions." (Mosiah 24:14). After I finally found relief during the challenge, I was able to find the end easily. The Lord give us relief and help us to endure to the end if we allow him to. However, we must do our part.

Another prophet in the Book of Mormon teaches us,"For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."  Just as in life, if I would have given up half way through the challenge, I would not have experienced the relief neither the joy of accomplishing the task. 

May we all " do our best and forget the rest." The savior is there to to make our burdens light and to offer his grace. If were do our best, ask for his assistance through prayer, and have the faith to know that he will visit us in afflictions. 

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