Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finding Joy in the Journey

Everything in bold is directly from President Monson's talk. The things in regular text are my comments.

“Nothing is as constant as change.”
most of the changes take place subtly and slowly.
Day by day, minute by minute, second by second we went from where we were to where we are now.
This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now.
among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and non-existent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.

This is tricky. I have gone for years, having little kids in my house, not putting out my good things, the antiques I was given after my mother passed away. How I would love to have them displayed where I could enjoy looking at them, but I fear my children breaking them. It would break my heart. I should probably train my children to treat things with greater respect, but I don't want to teach them that things are more important than they are to me. Does anyone have any tips to doing this?

Rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of today, of the here and now, doing all we can to provide pleasant memories for the future.

I love this and actually blogged about it in an earlier post. Everyday is a new beginning; a chance to start new and do things differently. This is a wonderful reality of life.

Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know.
Wrote William Shakespeare, “They do not love that do not show their love.”3
Send that note to the friend you’ve been neglecting; give your child a hug; give your parents a hug; say “I love you” more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.
Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family.
Some of you may be familiar with Thornton Wilder’s classic drama Our Town. If you are, you will remember the town of Grover’s Corners, where the story takes place. In the play Emily Webb dies in childbirth, and we read of the lonely grief of her young husband, George, left with their four-year-old son. Emily does not wish to rest in peace; she wants to experience again the joys of her life. She is granted the privilege of returning to earth and reliving her 12th birthday. At first it is exciting to be young again, but the excitement wears off quickly. The day holds no joy now that Emily knows what is in store for the future. It is unbearably painful to realize how unaware she had been of the meaning and wonder of life while she was alive. Before returning to her resting place, Emily laments, “Do . . . human beings ever realize life while they live it—every, every minute?”

I don't know if I've ever seen the entire play "Our Town," but what I have seen has left an indelible mark on me. I wish I could find a clip of it, but it's one of the final scenes. The spirit of a deceased woman is trapped at her gravesite. I think of this scene when I do genealogy sometimes. I think of how real that is for so many before their temple work is done. It's such a sad scene. I sometimes wonder how so many artists and authors that have known nothing about the restored gospel could be so right on as far as doctrine goes--C.S. Lewis comes to mind.

Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend . . . when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.6

The secret to optimistic thinking--focus.

Horace admonished, “Whatever hour God has blessed you with, take it with grateful hand, nor postpone your joys from year to year, so that in whatever place you have been, you may say that you have lived happily.”

I had a Japanese mission companion, who would daily say, "No regrets." That was her goal for her mission, to complete it with no regrets. Everyday she worked as hard as she could. I think this is a worthy goal for life itself.

Despite the changes which come into our lives and with gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days—as much as we can—with those things which matter most. May we cherish those we hold dear and express our love to them in word and in deed.

adapt to the changes in our lives, that we may realize what is most important, that we may express our gratitude always and thus find joy in the journey.


Jeannie said...

I loved this one! So many things stuck out to me. Now about your kids, I think you should put some out, like in your bedroom or front room, and before you put them out or as your putting them out, tell your kids to be really careful around those items.
As for the rest of your post, it was great. It sounds like a talk that you could be giving on Sunday? If it is, its really good! I got a lot of great things out of this.

I love you!!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

some great insight, and different things stood out to me than when I heard it the first time. So thanks.

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

thanks for your insites. You taught me things I had either forgotten or not noticed the first time around.

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