you never know what you’re gonna get.
I watched Forrest Gump for the first time this weekend. Shocking I know, I promise my parents did their best to make me well rounded but somehow I managed to avoid many of the classics of the 80’s and 90’s. I had sort of a love/ hate relationship with the show. But Forrest’s mama was right, life is like a box of chocolates.
I think most of us look at this phrase and think of all of the negative things in life. We assume the worst and attribute this line to an unforeseeable dark cloud looming in our futures. We assume that because we always end up with the marshmallow (insert your least favorite chocolate here) that life will be that way. Destined for unfortunate and unseen events.
It would be a lie to say we all can escape this life without a little bit of bumps and bruises. I know that I personally have not had the trials and troubles that would make me an expert on the subject, but I do know this, life was meant to be this way.
These past few weeks have been special in my family. It has marked 1 year since my father-in-law had a heart attack and 3 years since my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I’m grateful they are both still with us, I know that isn’t always the case. I do not know more kind-hearted, God serving people. They still experienced trials and troubles. We know that even Jesus Christ suffered and experienced pains. He was driven place to place, betrayed by his friends, and was ultimately left completely alone to suffer and die for us.
The scriptures are full of examples of people who have suffered and endured so I don’t think it’s fair to say that God only punishes those he doesn’t love with problems and burdens. It is simply a part of life. As to why some seem to suffer more than others and why certain trials come to certain people, that I don’t know. But I do know that it is a part of the plan that we had to come to earth to learn. We couldn’t experience it anywhere else. It is something that Adam and Eve couldn’t learn in the Garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden not to punish humanity with trials and work, but rather the opposite. They were lead out of the garden to further humanity, to further God’s purpose and plan. We know that they didn’t have children or lose their childlike innocence until they left the garden. We know that leaving was a necessary step in God’s plan. We couldn’t have come to earth to learn and grow without that step. They chose to taste the bitter to know the sweet. I love this scripture in 2 Nephi:
I think of my little box of chocolates. Do I avoid eating a chocolate for fear of getting one of the few I don’t like? No, even though I don’t know what I’m going to get I choose to eat anyway.
There will by days, months, and maybe even years where it seems like all you are eating is the chocolate you hate most. Where it never seems to end. But chances are there will also be days, months, and maybe even years where it seems like you are eating delicious melt in your mouth truffles and chocolates. There tend to be more of those in the box I believe.
I don’t believe that most of us would give up a whole box of chocolates just because there were a few we didn’t like. I think that is how life is too. Forrest didn’t have a life of running through fields of flowers. At the end of the movie however you see that his life was exceptional. Those bitter things were just as necessary as the sweet.
When presented with God’s plan we knew there would be things we would have to pass through, trials, and stages of life that would be hard. But we also knew that there would be joy and things that we would experience that would make the whole box worth it.