This past Sunday we had a lesson in Relief Society that I wanted everyone to hear. So I asked the teacher, Sister Cutler to write a summary for the blog. This way everyone can read it.
|President Dieter F. Uchtdorf|
The lesson on Sunday was from President Uchtdorf’s talk on page 21 of the November Ensign. He talked a bout a nurse who looked after terminally ill patients. She asked them if they had any regrets ? He went on to discus three of the most common regrets people who were dying expressed.
First they wished they had spent more time with people they loved. It is so easy to get caught up in the business of life that we worry about things that have no eternal importance. When my 5th child, a boy, was little he was very insecure and shy. Sometimes I would spend 2 or 3 hours just rocking him while he sat on my knee with one thumb in his mouth and his other hand twirling my hair around and around. During that time, I was obviously unable to do any of the myriad of chores or housework waiting for me. Sometimes people would drop in to visit and my house would most definitely be less than perfect. I recall one sister, who had been in my home, giving a talk in church about visiting other sisters who had toys all over their floor and wondering why they didn’t just pick them up. However, today I have a wonderful, outgoing, funny, friendly adult son. I can’t help but think that I made the right choice focusing my time on him and not worrying so much about how my house looks. That sister has long since passed from my life and today I don’t know where she is or what she is doing, but my son is a constant reminder that my investment of time in him was something I will never regret. Elder Uchtdorf said,
I think of our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished.
I can’t see it.
Instead I see the compassionate and caring Son of God purposefully living each day. When He interacted with those around Him, they felt important and loved. He knew the infinite value of the people He met. He blessed them, ministered to them. He lifted them up, healed them. He gave them the precious gift of His time.
The second regret was, “ I wish Ihad lived up to my potential. “ We talked about this in Relief Society and decided that potential was not just developing our talents, but also using the spirit to guide us to use these talents to become more like the Savior . This often results in us enriching not only our lives, but the lives of others as well. One sister mentioned how she came to learn that Heavenly Father is hurt when we don’t recognize how special we are and don’t believe in ourselves or see ourselves as a daughter of God. Elder Uchtdorf said,
Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become. Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents.
The third regret was, “I wish I had let myself be happier”. Too often we spend our time waiting for things to get better. As soon as my baby starts school, after I lose 20 pounds, as soon as baseball season is over. We need to enjoy the journey rather than waiting for the finish line. Elder Uchtdorf told a wonderful story,
My wife, Harriet, and I love riding our bicycles. It is wonderful to get out and enjoy the beauties of nature. We have certain routes we like to bike, but we don’t pay too much attention to how far we go or how fast we travel in comparison with other riders.
However, occasionally I think we should be a bit more competitive. I even think we could get a better time or ride at a higher speed if only we pushed ourselves a little more. And then sometimes I even make the big mistake of mentioning this idea to my wonderful wife.
Her typical reaction to my suggestions of this nature is always very kind, very clear, and very direct. She smiles and says, “Dieter, it’s not a race; it’s a journey. Enjoy the moment.”
How right she is!
Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey. I don’t go cycling with my wife because I’m excited about finishing. I go because the experience of being with her is sweet and enjoyable.
Once we start looking for the good in each day, we are able to find unexpected blessings and beauty in life. We will always have trials and challenges that is just a part of life. Elder Uchtdorf counsels,
Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.
Perhaps we should be looking less with our eyes and more with our hearts. I love the quote: “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”
Our happiness does not depend on circumstances, but on choices. Trying to develop the ability to find the joy in the journey can create a lifetime of wonderful experiences and memories, don’t pass those by waiting for something that may never arrive.