Last week I was out of town for work and bored out of my mind in the hotel room. I decided to take a walk at at like 9pm. As I walked, I started having a conversation with Heavenly Father (admittedly I did most of the talking…at least that I actually heard.).
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I began asking questions such as,
What is expected of me?
What am I suppose to be learning?
Where am I going in my life?
What am I suppose to be doing?
What do I have to do to be successful?
Who Better To Ask
Those are pretty strong questions, and I have been searching for the answers to those questions for quite some time. And who better to ask than my Father in Heaven?
As I was having this conversation I received an answer. No, I didn’t see an angel, hear a sound, or receive a scroll. I did however have a still, small voice speak to my mind and my heart (1 Kings 19:11-12). I had a scripture from the Book of Mormon come to mind, as well as two words. Here’s the scripture:
“O that I were an angel and could have the wish of mine heart…But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.” Alma 29:1,3
The two words were “Be Present”
The AnswerAnd there was the answer to all my questions. I needed to, first, be content with where I was and what I have been given and blessed with in my life. And second, I needed to be present.
What do I mean?What do I mean by “Be present”?
I mean that I needed to avoid being so discontent with my life, my job, my pay, etc that I couldn’t recognize and enjoy the vast blessings that are in front of me daily. I couldn’t get obsessed with thoughts like
“If only I was older…”
“If only I wasn’t so busy…”
“If only I had this or that job…”
"If only I made this much money…”
What I'm NOT SayingNow at this point, let me be clear as to what I am NOT saying. I am NOT saying that we shouldn’t plan and set goals. And I am NOT saying that we shouldn't try to better ourselves and our position in life.
However, by being too focused on our discontentment, we experience several unintended consequences.
When we are focused on our discontent we can experience four consequences:
1. We can miss out on valuable lessons that we could learn and that would greatly benefit our growth, progression, and success in our personal and professional lives.
2. We will often overlook opportunities to serve and bless those around us…including our families and close friends because we are only worried about what we don’t have.
3. If we are too preoccupied with where we are not at in life, discouragement and frustration will overtake our thoughts, causing stress, anger, depression and all sorts of not fun feelings!
4. Focusing on our discontent can lead to envy and covetousness. We will look at everyone more successful than us with disdain and jealousy. This will not help us become more success, rather it will hinder our success.
How can we “Be Present” in our lives?
1. Be grateful for what you have. Count your “haves” not your “have nots”
2. Remember that there is a season and a time to everything (Eccl. 3:1)
3. Recognize that valuable lessons can be learned and service given here and now
4. Be patient
5. Have faith, in God, in yourself, in your abilities.
I know that Heavenly Father was telling me that I need to focus more on what I have rather than what I don’t have.
He wants us to succeed, He wants us to be happy, but His thoughts and ways are certainly higher than mine (Isa. 55:8-9) and it is not my job to argue with His plans and His timetable.
We must always be striving to grow, progress and succeed, but the path to the future goes straight through the present, so BE PRESENT!!!
Q: How can you make sure that you don’t overlook the present in your daily life?