The year St. Patrick died is in question (some say 461, others say 493), but all seem agreed on the day he died — March 17. St. Patrick’s Day started as a feast held annually to commemorate the man who led Ireland’s conversion to Christianity. The history of how the holiday has evolved is rather interesting, but I found one legend about St. Patrick particularly applicable to LDS singles. And that connection will have me going green on St. Patrick’s Day for years to come.
See the "snakes"
Multiple legends involving St. Patrick abound, but the one catching my attention involves snakes. (And yes, I can hear Indiana Jones right now saying, “Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?) As legend has it, God’s power was so manifest in St. Patrick as he preached on a hill that all the snakes simply fled from the island.
That’s not likely actual truth, since snakes were never native to Ireland. But there is a Celtic legend of serpent-like spirits called nagas which supply water to trees and make streams and rivers flow. The legend of St. Patrick ridding Ireland of snakes is probably an allegory for the missionary ridding Ireland of old pagan beliefs.
And that got me thinking. What “snakes” in the form of old, defunct ways of thinking do I still have? What habits continue to hold me back from living my best life? Many LDS singles stand in their own way of experiencing the joy surrounding them every day. Instead of fully living life, they live far beneath their privileges.
Banish the "snakes"
St. Patrick didn’t rid Ireland of “snakes” in a single day. He didn’t arrive on the Irish shore greeted by masses of eager converts. Rather he started where he was with what he had. He went from village to village, achieving success one convert at a time. With persistent dedication, over time he stepped into the conversion of the entire island.
It’s not much different for LDS singles (or anyone else for that matter) struggling against the challenges of their lives. You won’t step into your best life all at once as it’s handed to you. You step into your best life one day at a time as you slowly but surely create it. And creating your best life always begins inside you.
What “snakes” inside you prevent you from experiencing the joy all around you? What “spirits” do you need to remove from within you in order to recognize and receive that joy in your life? The way you think determines what you do, and what you do determines the life you live. With persistent dedication, over time you can step into your best life.
Embrace your life
I know this take on St. Patrick’s Day seems odd. Particularly in the United States, Canada, and Australia, St. Patrick’s Day has become associated with parades and parties. We wear green and pinch people who don’t. But behind the frolic lies a fascinating history offering insight into improving your life. And that improvement always begins with changing the way you think.
Often what we need to trigger new thinking is a new experience, and St. Patrick’s Day offers many opportunities for new experiences. Delve into the history of the holiday as well as Ireland and learn something new. Or try your feet at an Irish jig. Or experiment with an Irish dish. St. Patrick’s Day offers many opportunities to have a new experience that can trigger new and different ways of thinking.
Embracing such opportunities can have you going green each and every St. Patrick’s Day. And finding those opportunities every day of the year will open the door to the new ways of thinking you must embrace to experience your best life. And that will bring you more joy in your journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet radio show and podcast to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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