20 August 2009

Spiritual Lids Block Our Potential for Good

My first mission president often discussed "spiritual lids." He used the analogy of putting fruit flies (I think that's what it was; sorry, President, I don't remember this detail!) in a mason jar with a lid: The fruit flies will try to escape but then will, essentially, give up; after that point, even if you take the lid off the mason jar, the fruit flies won't try to go higher than the lid. Then my mission president likened that to our lives, how too often our fight to overcome obstacles stops short of where we "hit the lid" so-to-speak, or how far we succeeded the last time we tried. Those are our spiritual lids.

This morning I thought about the spiritual lid concept as I found myself doubting my ability to reach certain goals in my life, particularly in the aspects of my life where I have previously "failed." It was (still is) extremely difficult for me to overcome this discouragement and believe that where I "failed" in the past, I could with the Lord's help escape from these doubts to conquer.

President Thomas S. Monson offered this encouragement to face our fears:

Should there be anyone who feels he is too weak to do better because of that greatest of fears, the fear of failure, there is no more comforting assurance to be had than the words of the Lord: “My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).

President Thomas S. Monson, "Our Sacred Priesthood Trust," Ensign, May 2006, 57.

What spiritual lids are preventing you from reaching your goals?

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