Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pine Nuts: You Go and You Get What You Love.

My dad is what you call a good old fashioned, go getter...he goes and gets what he wants.  I witnessed my dad in action this past week on my visit to Utah.  Upon my arrival to their home, we sat at my parent's kitchen table, sipping Fresca and cracking open freshly roasted salted pine nuts.  I nibbled the meaty nuts and chucked the shells with ease not long after my father taught me the skill needed to fully master the pine nut eating ritual.

The next morning, I awoke to my dad packing up his car. He explained he was heading to the high country, some 4 hour drive to harvest more pine nuts.  The process was quite demanding, requiring a large tarp to be laid under pine laden tree and secured with rocks. Next, a long pole is heaved into the high branches and with pure muscle strength (and precision), the nuts are knocked from their home above to the tarp below.  My dad then takes the nuts to a water source and sifts out the fallen branches, pine cones and other unwanted items that find themselves on the tarp, mixed in with the beloved pine nuts.

After driving miles back home, the nuts were then washed and sorted, sprinkled with salt and placed in the oven for roasting.

Most people aren't willing to take the time and effort to acquire something as simple as pine nuts.  I mean, one can purchase a bag of pine nuts at the local grocery store (and they are even shelled for you!).  Who wants to drive for hours and expend large amounts of energy and time for a nut!?

My dad. Me. You.

It isn't really about the pine nut at all. It is all about what you LOVE and what you are willing to do for something you love.

Take the conversation I had with a man during the St. George marathon. He appeared next to me around mile 14.  I was feeling fresh and was he.  This allowed us to talk freely.  We struck up a conversation about our goals for our race. He asked what time I was shooting for.  After my reply, "Under 3:30," he told me he was going to stick with me.  That led to further discussion about this particular race. It was his first.  I told him, although I was from Virginia, I had run the last 16 of this race some 20 years ago with my friends after returning from an L.D.S mission from Denmark. He then replied, "Oh, you are a Virginian Mormon."  Upon hearing his tone, I quickly assessed he probably wasn't a Mormon. I then said, "Oh then you must be a Utah non-Mormon."  He laughed and explained he was a "Jack Mormon," which is a Mormon who isn't active in the church.

He seemed a bit embarrassed by his current state but I assured him not to worry. I said that it is essential we truly want to work for something. Those things we cherish, we work for and thus we hold dear. I explained that like our marathon journey, we wanted more than to simply finish the race, we hoped to finish with a specific time.  Because of such a lofty goal, months of orchestrated training runs, dedication and time would be required. It was important to us.

I continued to explain, "Like our relationship with God, if we want to feel close to Him, we must put our time and efforts on Him." I wanted him to realize that if he wanted a closer relationship to God he would be required to work...just like running.  And just like his ability to run fast and far, he would begin to grow closer to his Heavenly Father.  Similar  to the search for "pine nuts," requiring hours of driving, searching, knocking down, cleaning, sorting, roasting...we must go and get...and then we reap the rewards of what we truly want to reap.

I cherish my father's many adventures throughout his life, doing things he loves with those he loves.

Are you willing to go and get what you love?

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