Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My favorite post I've ever written -- and the greatest lesson I've learned this semester at school

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . BUSYNESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
I read the greatest Ensign article this last summer that IS changing my life.
I'll share a few of my favorite thoughts: 

"A National journalist shared the following blunt assessment: 'A good Mormon is a busy Mormon.' A historian has also observed that 'in Mormon culture . . . action is esteemed over contemplation.

"Elder Maxwell cautioned us against a 'frantic, heedless busyness . . . [that often] crowds out contemplation and leaves no room for renewal.' He likened thoughtful 'intervals between [our] tasks" to "the green belts of grass, trees, and water that . . . interrupt the asphalt.'"

And when I was in Europe, I experienced whole towns that seemed to have no trees, no patches of grass outside the apartments. Especially in Paris, you could look out from the Eiffel tower and see green basically only where there were parks set apart from the city. 

Ironically, we have a small spot of green grass outside our apartment that is three feet away from the biggest street in Provo. Being from Wyoming I would have thought that wasn't a place of peace at all. 
But after our experiences in Russia Dan and I took time to appreciate the grass outside our apartment after our date. We sat on that patch of grass and ate cake and then did nothing except hold each other and enjoy our little spot of green. That's what we can do in life, take a moment for "contemplation and renewal."

I noticed a girl in the class I TAed had the greatest insights of anyone in the whole class. I could tell what we were learning meant so much to her! She bore testimony of what she learned to me and mentioned that this was her only class all spring term. She taught at the MTC and spent so much time thinking and pondering -- in my opinion that is how she integrated her learning and had such deep insights. She took time to think about life. 

"'When we put God first' President Ezra Taft Benson promised, 'all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives.' This is one reason President Spencer W. Kimball could say that 'we will move faster if we hurry less.' Undistracted by other gods, we trust the Lord to help us allocate our time and talent to their very best uses each day. As a result we do more good and we make real progress."

I testify that this promise is true. When I read this, I decided to put God first. I didn't know what this would mean for me, but then I was waiting for initiatories. I was so stressed and caught up in (I can't even remember what) but I COULD NOT stop thinking about it. I read an article in the temple and it was a real LOVING yet chastening moment for me. An article I picked up was all about leaving the world behind. To summarize: "In the temple it is the Lord's house, we leave the world behind. We are in the midst of angels and God so we do their work and think as they would. We leave all thoughts we have about the world behind for we are here to serve. This is our practice to think as we will in the heavens" and I realized if I am so busy now that I can't feel the spirit, "the same spirit will possess my body in that eternal world." This is something that would be easier to overcome while I have a mortal body. 
Thankfully Heavenly Father made a way. The ordinance worker looked into my eyes and conveyed to me the spirit. It was like she gave it back to me. It flowed through me. I cried. She was my angel. 

For me this means attending the temple every single week. I am on the Honors Advisory Council and Student Advisory Council -- with these responsibilities there are so many things I can do extra that fill my time, more meetings etc. I have not volunteered for these extra things, I am doing too much. 

I have evaluated what I love most.
1. I lo lo love Daniel! He is my life!
2. I do love serving. That is where my passion is.
3. For me, I love to create. It brings me joy and helps me to contemplate.
4. And I love children. I miss my siblings. 
5. I love music -- playing the piano

These brought about changes in my life
1. I'm spending extra time with Dan. Quitting my 8 am work (1).
2. I am teaching children with life threatening disabilities art (2, 3, 4).
3. I took time yesterday walked out of my LSAT class and played the piano for 40 minutes (5).


I testify that we can be less busy. There are things we can remove from our lives. We can find time to contemplate and reevaluate. We can find time for the Lord.
I am going to write about President Uchtdorf's talk but Dan just got back from his church meetings so PAUSE

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, Alyssa. It is fun to catch up on you and your thoughts. I also have a and my new photography blog--
    I need to be a bit more consistant on posting though :)