Last week I discussed how crazy life can get and how Christ can help us turn our life around by starting over. We always have the opportunity to start over.
That’s why I love sunrises. They’re a daily reminder that no matter how dark things may appear, light is always just around the corner. The dawn will always come. And when it does, it brings with it a chance for a new day.
That new day in life, however, doesn’t just happen. It comes as we make conscious choices to believe in and reach for the light. How do we do that when life seems to sweep us away with the constant drumbeat of the moment? Life can have such a frantic pace sometimes we feel we don’t have time to breathe.
And that’s just it. It’s the pace that’s the problem. How many of us have ever wished for just one more hour in our day? I know I’ve often wished for more than that.
But we have only 24 hours with each day. Learning how to manage our use of that time can help, but in reality that’s only a stopgap. Installing a better drain can help with a bathtub prone to overflow, but turning off the faucet provides a more effective solution.
We need to learn how to stop.
Make the space
Stopping can be a real challenge. When you’ve got children crying for your attention, the advice to stop can seem quite impractical. And yet if we don’t stop some time, we’ll drive ourselves into the ground.
The Preacher said, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). It’s probably not time to stop when your children cry. Sometimes life demands prompt action. Take that prompt action, then find another time to stop. If we don’t take time to care for our needs in life, we won’t have much of a life. And not much of a life isn’t the best life we all deserve to have.
If you are, as Feste in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night says, waiting to have “greatness thrust upon [you],” you’ll be waiting a long time. Your best life comes when you make the right conscious choices.
One of those right choices is making space to stop long enough to refuel. That space won’t appear on its own. As I said last week, life tends to seep in, devouring time and energy. To have a space in which we can stop, we need to clear that space consciously.
Respect the space
Clearing that space can seem difficult. And it may require sacrifice. But it’s the only way we’ll really have anything meaningful in our lives.
For example, I’ve had and striven to use a temple recommend for many years now. But if I don’t clear the space in my calendar to attend the temple, then chances are it won’t happen. Life will present competing and seemingly more important demands. And before you know it, the week or the month will pass without me inside the house of the Lord.
I have to clear space by reserving the time in my calendar to attend the temple. Then I have to respect that space by diverting other demands to either a different spot on my calendar or my circular file. Otherwise, life will crowd in again.
I’ve found I have to do likewise for everything else I really want in my life. I have to clear a space for it and then respect that space. Otherwise, life will crowd in with other, less fulfilling ways to use that space.
Piecing together our best life
Clearing and respecting spaces for the elements of our life is really just a smaller piece of the larger process of designing our best life. Lest we feel overwhelmed with that, let’s remember we can partner with the Lord for anything in life. That includes what next step to take to reach our best life.
The Lord stands ready to help. He provides help constantly through His servants. I regard Elder Lawrence’s talk from the October 2015 General Conference as a classic discourse on partnering with the Lord to learn the next step we need to take and then act in faith to take it. General Conference is once more right around the corner, and I’m so thankful for that.
Of course, none of us need wait for General Conference. We all have access to the Lord’s voice through prayer, the scriptures, inspired Church members, and the temple. Let’s partner with the Lord today to discover what next step we need to take to clear and then respect the space we need to stop. When we stop long enough to refuel ourselves, we can live our best life.
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 radio show 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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