Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Joy in the Journey

One special gift we got for Christmas came from the Ricks family. Elizabeth Ricks was my adviser when I was in Beehives and I've always felt close to her. Plus, she's my role model for youthful motherhood - she looks like a teenager and has seven kids. Seriously, this woman hasn't aged since the day I met her. Flawless.

Anyway, she gave us this beautifully decorated tile that says "Find Joy in the Journey" and stands on a metal easel. It has a place of honor in my kitchen.

But it got me thinking about the conference talk from which it comes. I remember the talk quite vividly. It was my first general conference since I had returned to the Church and I felt like it was a talk that I very much needed to hear.

President Monson admonishes us to enjoy life as we live it instead of constantly worrying about the future. Says he,
"I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and non-existent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now."
He quotes from the Music Man:
"You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays."
This words cut straight through me. That's pretty much how I have spent the better part of my life. I'm a planner. I'm always preparing for the next thing. In high school, I moved constantly from planning from one test, to preparing for a concert, to running for this office, and back again. The same in college - I was always worried about a test or an internship application or what to register for the next semester. I didn't take time to relish my successes and accomplishments. I didn't take time to enjoy the things I had worked so hard for. Even when I was studying abroad in France, I didn't truly enjoy the time there. I spent so much time worrying about having an internship lined up when I got home and making sure that my credits would transfer that I don't think I ever sat back and let myself revel in the joy of Parisian streets and the pace of daily life.

It's a wonderful thing to plan for the future. It's wise to be prepared for tests, for jobs, for savings, for all the many things that may come. But in his infinite wisdom, Pres. Monson is so right to remind us that this things are useless if you don't truly enjoy the important things in life. I have so much to be grateful for. I am blessed with a wonderful family, a loving husband, amazing friends, a great job, a beautiful home, two adorable little fur babies, and most importantly, the Gospel in my life. There is so much love and laughter and joy in my life. There may be hard things that come. There will be difficulties and trials. But overall, life is amazing good. The Lord is good.

I pray we may all live by Pres. Monson's words,
"Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows."

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