Then I read something like this (from President Uchtdorf):
"Nevertheless, there are some who feel that unless they have an experience similar to Saul's or Joseph Smith's, they cannot believe...Instead of taking small steps of faith on the path of discipleship, they want some dramatic event to compel them to believe...
There are many others who, for different reasons, find themselves waiting on the road to Damascus...They remain waiting for the Christ to be given to them like a magnificent Carl Bloch painting--to remove once and for all their doubts and fears.
The truth is, those who diligently seek to learn of Christ eventually will come to know Him. They will personally receive a divine portrait of the Master, although it most often comes in the form of a puzzle--one piece at a time. Each individual piece may not be easily recognizable by itself; it may not be clear how it relates to the whole. Each piece helps us to see the big picture a little more clearly. Eventually, after enough pieces have been put together, we recognize the grand beauty of it all. Then, looking back on our experience, we see that the Savior had indeed come to be with us--not all at once but quietly, gently, almost unnoticed."
The painting imagery reminds me of an experience of a sweet friend. She agreed to do a series of paintings about Christmas, only to have to finish them in record time. She decided to save the painting of Christ for last, planning and hoping to find time to meditate and purify herself for the work. But life got in the way, and there was no time for a big experience. She had to paint him without it. And yet, as she painted, she realized that her previous work and focus on Christmas had been the preparation and experience she needed, that with His help, she was enough. The last paragraph of President Uchtdorf's seems to be talking about her.
And I realize, it is also talking about me. I've been waiting for joy to be given me like a magnificent painting, rather than finding bits and pieces all around.
Elder Ballard shared a story about prospecting for gold. The wise, old prospector says to the young man, "Son, it seems to me you are so busy looking for large nuggets that you're missing filling your pouch with these precious flecks of gold. The patient accumulation of these little flecks has brought me great wealth."
Here is my answer. As I move forward, treasuring up the sweet minutes of life, blessing those I can, I will find more happiness than I can now understand. The present will be filled with baby kisses, children's hugs, beautiful tulips, and love interspersed with laundry, dishes, bickering, and heartache. And one day, the pieces will fall into place, and I will be surprised to find that I've been becoming more and more like my Savior and that He has created something exquisite out of the bits and pieces of my life.