May 7, 2015
Tonight I am feeling overwhelmed and frustrated...and tired. There is always so much more to do than can realistically be accomplished. And lately, every little extra thing just makes me feel crazy! I cannot do one or two or ten extra things. I need a break! Every night I write the most crucial things to be accomplished the next day. I stress and agonize over which important things can be postponed. I pray for direction and wisdom. I say many silent prayers for guidance each day, pleading with the Lord to help me hear and understand His voice. I am sad at my lack of capacity and the deep desires of my heart which are very often ignored out of necessity.
I long to read more, write more, organize more, clean more, teach more, sleep more, workout more, explore more with my kids, connect more with friends and family, ponder and pray more, serve more, go to the temple more, prepare more for everything that matters and implement the things I already know more. I want to make progress. For many years now, I feel like I have just been keeping my head above water. There have been lots and lots of meaningful experiences, don’t misunderstand. But I feel completely inept in every area of my life. I mean, sure, I have successes here and there. But real, solid progress – in ANY one area of life, totally eludes me. Maybe I’m just getting better at treading water.
Sometimes I wake up in the morning with a song in my head. I’ve noticed that there is always a message in the song that I need that day. The other night I had a dream that I was teaching Jason’s institute class for a day. Only in the dream, I hadn’t prepared for the class at all, because I had found out only moments earlier that I’d be teaching. Right before class began, I frantically scrambled for an idea of what to teach. A scripture immediately popped into my head: “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” In the dream, I mentally went through each aspect of this scripture that we could discuss together. When I woke up, the phrase that seemed glued to my brain was “press forward.”
You know when you are in your early 20’s, so full of vigor and excitement for life, not knowing what the heck you are doing yet, but just so thrilled at the seemingly endless possibilities? And then, do you remember looking at people older than you – maybe in their mid thirties to mid fifties, who seemed totally burnt out and just settling for mediocrity – as though their loftiest goal was simply to survive life? I determined early on that I would NEVER be that way. But now that I am in the thick of it, there are moments when I just think, all I want is to rest for awhile! And I feel so darn exhausted (physically and emotionally), that I slip from working hard to be my best and live life intentionally to just sort of surviving. But just sort of surviving is not why I am on earth. It is not honoring the purpose of my existence; it is NOT pressing forward. There is such a forceful spiritual current moving society backwards, that if we do not press forward with steadfastness in Christ, we will be swept away with it. What a destructive force is apathy!
Perhaps the true frustration is that despite all the pressing forward, I feel like I am virtually in the same spot as always. I don’t like the feeling, but it does occur to me that standing still has some positive connotations as well - especially when I take all the powerful, insidious currents into consideration. If I am steadfast and immovable in this world, it means that I am strong – or at least getting stronger. Pressing forward has tremendous value, then, even when progress is not evident. I don’t feel that this thought is fully formed, but the idea of it gives me hope. Since I don’t have any super powers, doing more of all the meaningful things is often not an option. But Christ makes up the difference each day as I truly give my all (and how I wish my all were SO much more)!!! Sometimes my all seems pretty darn pitiful. Still, I am encouraged. I hope you are encouraged, too. I trust that more is at work here than what I can see with my mortal eyes, and I have hope that I can change! I may never be the perfect person that I envision, but I have hope that the journey I am on is molding me into something even better.