Latter-day Saints can be lifted above the day’s irritations.
I start the day with prayer. I thank Father in Heaven for all His sweet blessings of joy and learning. I commit to making this a good day, using my time, mind, and heart in positive ways. I think of the day ahead and what I have to do. That feeling of love lifts me as I begin the day. I just ‘know’ that this will be a great day!
Then a phone call comes and (symbolically} kicks me in the stomach. In talking with an agent by phone, I am irritated by his rudeness and insensitivity. I see a news flash on TV that angers me as I watch the mean spiritedness of some cause heartbreak for others. I can’t find something that I need, and it bugs me. Grrrr.
Then I realize how far I’ve traveled from the peace and positive “me” I offered my Father in Heaven only a few hours ago. Gotta love it.
Although this isn’t how my day began today, it is very much like a lot of days. How many times do we find this kind of pattern repeating as we try to move forward and get through our days with grace? It’s amazing how a day can deteriorate as we allow outward things to impact our inward stability. Adding insult to injury, we might get angry with ourselves for allowing our positive attitude to so quickly plunge. Sigh…..
Thankfully, the Plan is not for perfect people. It is one made for people like me- imperfect, vulnerable, and in need of the Atonement and the gospel principles that keep us leaning on the arm of the Lord!
What a great relief it is to know that we are fully loved. Heavenly, perfect love allows for my weaknesses, and propels me forward. Just as it does for each one of us.
Elder Joseph Wirthlin once shared words of counsel that are among my favorite:
“Oh, it is wonderful to know that our Heavenly Father loves us—even with all our flaws! His love is such that even should we give up on ourselves, He never will. We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever. Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father won’t, for He sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming.” (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Great Commandment”, Oct.2007 General Conference)
Notice that my opening paragraphs have lots of “I’s” in it. All about me, how “I” start my day, “I” thank, ask, and work. “I” see, hear, and react. Little wonder that when we are focusing on ourselves, it may be harder to see past our own point of view and reach for a higher, more pure one.
Gratefully, we are loved and watched over by those whose work is focused not on self, but on others. That same Father who loves me in spite of weakness and folly, loves those who make headlines with their poor choices. In the long run, our best bet is to love. The best we can. As well as we are able. And to trust in our Father and in our Savior who see us as the person we are capable of becoming.
God’s plan in a reeeaally long term one. Whether or not our neighbors know it, the plan is for every single soul. And every single soul is loved- even the hateful, sour, mean ones. Our outward focus may allow us to help our neighbors in need, concentrate on how to ease the difficulties of others, and refrain from judging those who cause a lot of grief. Empathy allows us to feel others’ pain and charity allows us to help where we can. In the eternal sense, God’s love extends to all of his children. Better to focus on the good we can do, and let go of what we can’t. Simpler to refrain from judging that crazy person who just made headlines and leave it to One better qualified to do the job.
While we can’t make the ugliness disappear, we can brighten things a bit when we remember “Love”. God bless us to make our days more love filled. To go easier on ourselves when we don’t quite measure up. To think outside ourselves enough to notice the rest of the world, and sweeten it a little. And to pass along a bit of our Father’s never-ending devotion to righteousness in whatever forms we’re able. Then, love lifts us in a more transcendent way!