As most people who know me realize, I'm a very literal person. I don't get symbolism and hidden meanings easily. I tend to take things as they are and as they appear to be. This has sometimes made it hard for me to really grasp the deeper meanings of many things I read. I love to read, but I find that I generally enjoy the story without looking beyond to see any symbolism that might be intended. But I know when I read my scriptures that I HAVE to look for more than just the surface stories or I'll miss most of what Jesus was trying to teach.
For me, learning is much easier when I can do something, rather just read about it (probably partially due to my lack of understanding of symbolism.) If I read about something sometimes I can figure it out. But often I'm left feeling puzzled and unable to visualize what I've just tried to learn. That's why I love being shown how to do something. I can see it in action, which helps me grasp what I'm trying to understand. Whether it's repairing a car or appliance, putting together a craft, or learning how to make a complicated new recipe, I do better if I can see it as well as read about or hear how it's done.
I read about what Jesus did during His ministry and about how we're supposed to treat others, but without seeing that in action... I'm left a little less than enlightened. I wish I could say that charity, selflessness and service come naturally to me so that I could read about those things and automatically connect, but I find myself woefully ignorant and cringing at my own obliviousness to others' needs. This would be a big problem in my life as I study Jesus' teachings if it weren't for the fact that I am blessed to see His teachings in action almost every day.
I am so thankful for the good people all around me who show me the deeper meaning behind Jesus' teachings through their own actions. I see Jesus in action every time I hear loving words spoken in kindness, when I witness helping hands being offered to those who are in need, when I see friends comforting one another, and even when I'm given a hug. So many times and in so many ways, I've been able to get a first-hand lesson on what Jesus really meant when He taught to love God and love others. All it takes is opening my eyes to see the little miracles that are wrought daily by those who are living as Christ did.
In this day and age, it often appears as if the world is lost, that things are hopeless, and all is doom and gloom, but all it takes is a conscious effort to notice the good around you to realize that God is still in control, because of Jesus Christ we still have hope, and there are a lot of really good people who want to love and help others. Look around and I'm pretty certain you'll see Jesus in action, too.