But I also worked hard. We all did, in those tight-knit wards. We made plates of treats at Christmas and took them around to 20 families. We visited new members and less-active members. We pulled together musical programs, linger longers, Saturday training and press releases for the local paper. We pounded that hot Miami pavement, filled with love for the good members of our local ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I had forgotten much of that. Not until I drove those streets again, pointing out landmarks to my children, did I remember. Over time, I’ve grown a little more callous, a little more guarded in my service. Going back reminded me of how that service changed others and how it ultimately changed me.
Brooks writes, “The process of going home is also reorienting. Life has a way of blowing you off course. People have a way of forgetting what they originally set out to do. Going back means recapturing the original aspirations. That’s one reason Jews go back to Exodus every year. It’s why Augustine went back during a moment of spiritual crisis and wrote a book about his original conversion.”
Each of us has an Exodus. We have a place that, upon the return, reminds us of what we set out to become. Going back is a way of looking forward, to make sure we are still headed in the right direction. Our future can be incredibly bright, most especially so if we allow it to be illuminated by our past.
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