The 3 D’s of Exalted Living

Decisions Determine Direction.  The point is that everything matters, even the small things. They matter to God (he’s Omnicaring), and it should matter to you, because every decision you make impacts the direction of your life.

If, for instance, you’re heading on a course due north, in a perfectly straight line, and then you vary, if only by a portion of 1 degree… over time, that tiny variation of your course will equate to a monumental change in your destination.

It all happens by degrees.  Every decision matters.

In a jet, if a pilot is flying around 500 mph and drifts by only one degree, he will be miles off course in a matter of only a few minutes.

Today, life flies by us at blazing speeds.  We live in an age of unprecedented momentum and make countless decisions, most of them, almost unwittingly.  In such an environment, we cannot be too vigilant about the impact of our actions. 

Let’s consider, as an example, the following illustration of a vehicle heading due north.  Pretend the vehicle represents you and a completely righteous course of life – with your entire focus on godliness.  But notice what a dramatic change only a few recurring alterations can make in your vision.

car_view.jpg

This is how Satan works.   He doesn’t really think he can get us to make radical changes all at once, because such an abrupt change of our vision would certainly be noticed, and we’d self-correct our course. 

Instead, he tries to get us to make slight changes in our course, changes that seem a “natural extension” of our current course, and that only slightly alter our vision.

In this way he “lulls us away into carnal security” (2 Nephi 28:21).  It’s all about change by degrees.  That’s how he works.  I call it “Spiritual Entropy” (blog post).

Every decision we make alters the direction we’re heading, so we cannot be cavalier about the decisions we make, and must be terrifically tuned to alterations in our course.

But how do you do that.  How do you know when you’re being lulled off course?  I submit that there are two primary ways we can stave off this tactic.

First, we must implement within our lives the regular recurrence of mechanisms that sharpen our vision of Godliness.  Regular scripture study, daily prayer, weekly church attendance, etc.  These simple things are those that most clearly reinforce that vision of Godliness.  The more regularly we do them, the more habitually they become a part of our lives, the more crystal clear that vision of Godliness becomes, and the starker are the events when our vision shifts beyond where it should.

That’s how we “stay in tune” (blog post). 

Secondly, we must subject ourselves to frequent course-correcting criticism.  We must regularly check ourselves, analyze our lives, look around us, at where we’re heading, at what we’re doing, and compare that with the vision of what we would have that to be.

Now of course, God expects us to live a life full of little twists and turns, that’s why he sent His Son.  But the farther we depart from the path of exalted living, the path pre-trodden by the Savior and countless others, the more difficult life becomes, and the more difficult it is to return.  So it’s far easier to hold counsel with the Lord in regular intervals, and look upon your life for areas in need of correction.  Just don’t dwell on your past unhealthily (see “beware the rear view mirror“).

So remember the 3 D’s of Exalted Living – Decisions Determine Direction. 

Rusty

6 replies
  1. Rusty Lindquist says:

    I certainly believe that there are times when we face a decision between two right choices. In these instances, it mattereth not what we choose, both will take us in the right direction. I also believe that the more righteously you’re living, the more commonplace this becomes. You begin to naturally filter out anything but those decisions that propel you forward, and begin to see more and more options that take you down the same path. Thoughts?

    Reply
  2. SilverRain says:

    Decisions will always take you along different paths, that’s the nature of decision-making. It’s just that many paths are good, so it sometimes doesn’t really matter.

    Reply

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