Think of all of the preparations, persuasions and perseverance that had to take place to get that rocket ship on the platform about to take off.
It's quite a bit, right?
I can't even comprehend all the science and math that must go on behind the scenes to make everything work smoothly and keep the passengers on board safe while they journey. I'm just glad there are other people who get to take care of those things and not me.
Alright, so you have all the science, you've packed your astronaut food, and your suit has been shined until it sparkles. You board the rocket, the signal is given and with a roar, you slowly begin your flight up into the unknown. The smoke fades, the crowd disperses and you are left alone in the sky. You look down and see the earth that you have come to know so well disappear behind you. You face forward, determined to get to your destination successfully so you can bring back new knowledge to your colleges. You look down at the coordinates that should be blinking on the screen in front of you to tell you which way to turn to begin your adventures in space.
There are no blinking dots.
The screen in blank and you start to panic. Here you are in the middle of nowhere, the middle of nowhere in SPACE, and you have no idea what direction you are suppose to go or even how to get back home. You were expecting there to be a map of some sort with step by step directions to hlep you get to your destination. Suddenly you realize that you don't even know what that destination is. You were never told. Shouldn't this have been part of the debriefing? Shouldn't there be some sort of manual or chart or something to show you what to do in times of peril and panic? This is your future you hold in your hands. This is life or death! One wrong turn of the controls or flip of a toggle switch and you could be flung off the path that you should be on to get to that ever elusive destination.
You look out the windshield to try and get your bearings, but nothing looks familiar. Do you really expect anything to look familiar? This IS your first trip to space.
You take a few deep breaths and try to decide what to do. You know you won't be able to find your way back home, you don't even know how much fuel you have left in the tank. So what do you do now? Continue to panic? Curl up in a ball and wait to die from lack of oxygen?
You can just enjoy the journey.
The future is scary. I have so many decisions to make in the next two months that sometimes I feel like the character in the rocket ship being flung into the unknown without a map or direction.
Directions my rocket ship COULD turn:
-I apply again for the Graphic Design Program at the U at the end of the month (the thought that I have to choose 12 pieces to go into my portfolio out of the hundred or so I have in a pile at home makes me start to sweat). Do I get in? Or not?
-If I don't get into the program (at this point I have no idea the outcome), what new major do I choose? Or, heaven forbid, do I transfer to a different school?
-Do I stay in my apartment with my lovely roomies in SLC for the summer or do I move home?
-Will I ever get a conformation/rejection letter from the Especially For Youth (EFY) people which will help me decide where to go for the summer? (I mean, it's been two months people. I think that's enough time to decide whether or not I am peppy enough to be an EFY councilor. Every time an email comes up on my phone, my mind does a little dance, hoping it's from them.)
-Or do I box up all of the aforementioned ideas for two years and spend my time getting my papers together to go on a mission when I turn 21 in September? (I have always wanted to serve a mission, but the thought of leaving my family, my friends and my ward that I have become so comfortable with for so long is frightening.)
With all of these thoughts running rampant in my mind, throwing over tables, spilling drinks and breaking the fine china, I am in great need for direction. Where can I turn?
Well, unlike the poor soul in the rocket ship, we DO have a map: the scriptures.
And we DO have a team of experts upstairs who know exactly where our ship is headed.
And we DO know our final destination if we are faithful to the end and we keep an eternal perspective.
Does this make all the panic subside and the doubt drift away? Not always. To be honest, I have had panic attack moments that leave me wondering if I will ever make it through. But as President Uchtdorf said in his talk The Infinite Power of Hope:
"We learn to cultivate hope the same way we learn to walk, one step at a time. There may be times when we must make a courageous decision to hope even when everything around us contradicts this hope. Like Father Abraham, we will 'against hope [believe] in hope.' Or, as one writer expressed, 'in the depth of winter, [we find] within [us] an invincible summer.'"
p.s. This is one of the songs that keeps me going. So beautiful.