I’m not completely sure why this past summer and the start of the school year have been a struggle for me. I know that I needed a vacation and really didn’t take one. I worked a couple of days a week throughout the summer. I also have spent a lot of time running and working out.
As I got deeper into the school year, week-by-week, I found that I was busy doing so many good things that I was praying in the car and apologizing to God for not being more reverent, and catching snippets of scripture in 5-10 minutes bites throughout the day as I could.
I hadn’t suddenly “gone bad,” but I wasn’t happy with myself, and I didn’t feel at peace anymore.
I started praying about my feelings, somehow knowing that I already knew the answer but just couldn’t remember it. Meanwhile, I just kept plugging along doing the best I could do with what I had.
I was nearly at my breaking point. I felt like the combination of my work duties, doing what I could for people around me, and trying to keep up with the house and my fitness goals was going to do me in. I started praying harder, watching for answers when I was able to read scriptures, and hoping that I could hold on until I figured things out. Some idea was forming in the back of my brain, but I couldn’t quite figure out what it was.
That’s when I ran back across this quote from Ezra Taft Benson:
When we put God first, all other things fall into place or out of our lives.
I knew the answer had finally come, but it was up to me to figure out how to make it work in my life. I started by making and enforcing the decision that praying and studying scriptures would be the first thing I do after I get out of bed and straighten the bedroom in the mornings. It hasn’t been easy – especially since I’ve started doing most of my running with a friend and sometimes have to meet her as early as 4:30 or 5 a.m. I’ve learned to roll out of bed at 3 a.m., study and run, clean up, and then take a nap before heading into work! I have also had to make sure that I am not putting my todo list in front of spiritual promptings. I’m still working on keeping enough “clear space” in my head to make sure that I am receiving all of the spiritual promptings intended for me.
So, I’ve had to make some changes and some small sacrifices. Has it been worth it?
I would say yes. Doing things, even when they are difficult, strengthens the good parts of my character. But, what is more important to me is the peace and the confidence that I gain knowing that I have done my best to fashion my life according to God’s will, and I can then count on Him to give me flashes of inspiration or even work little miracles as I need them. I don’t shirk my other duties in life, but I don’t fear when I fall short of my goals for the day. I know a way to get the essentials done will be provided.
I can’t remember which church leader actually stated the thought, but one voiced the idea that knowing our lives are in harmony with God gives the greatest security we can have in life. I testify that I have tried this, and I know it to be true.