Monday, September 20, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
About a year ago this summer I had my second foot surgery.
I went in to the doctor last fall for my follow up appointment. The dr. said that my foot was not perfect, but it was as good as it was going to get. So, I asked him if I could do physical activities again. He said yes. I asked if running counted and he said, “yes. The more you do the better. Run. Jump. Skip. Ski. Whatever you want to do, do it. The more the better. It will strengthen your muscles and tendons in your foot and keep them strong.”
I was happy about the good news. I went home and told Rick that I was now cleared to run so I thought I should look for a local 5k and sign up and begin training. Rick’s response was, “why would you do that? You’ve already done a 5k. Do something bigger, something you haven’t done before. You should do a half marathon.”
I thought he was crazy.
But I started running. The first time I ran, I made it to the end of the driveway. Each day that I ran I would make it a little further. One day I mentioned that crazy idea of running a half marathon to one of my friends. She said, “great, let’s both sign up.”
I now had 3 people telling me that I could do something that I had never done. I didn’t think I would ever be able to do it considering I had spent half of the previous 6 months in a cast/using crutches. I didn’t actually run with my friend. More importantly, she was there to check on me and make sure I ran. She would email me or call. It was her concern for me that encouraged me to stick with my training schedule and therefore finish a half marathon.
This was similar to the experience that I had at Girls Camp. We got up on a Tuesday morning to hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls. It’s a 5 ½ mile round trip hike from the campground to the falls and back. On the day we hiked, it was clear, sunny, and HOT. We had about 45 people hiking together. Some in our group were athletic and conditioned to hike. Others were a little less adept at hiking through sand and rocks and were lacking in the thrill of hiking in the dry Southern Utah desert. Ages ranged from 12 to 60 something. So, needless to say we had quite a range of abilities and desires. Some didn’t do well with the heat and got dehydrated. Others had a hard time with their shoes filling with sand and the way the toes had to bend to get through the thick sand (that would be me!)
I came to the same conclusion regarding both of these experiences:
In order to do difficult things, we must surround ourselves with people who have the same goal in mind whether that goal is training for and running a marathon or hiking 5 ½ miles to a waterfall or living a Christlike life. It seems that if we surround ourselves with people who are trying to do the same things that we are, then we will be more successful than if we attempt to do hard things without any support.
I think about all of those girls who were hiking in that hot summer sun. I really doubt that many of us would have completed the hike if we had set out on our own. I’m pretty sure that I would have turned around and gone back to the shade and called it a day. But every girl that said that the hike was hard was later happy that she endured and continued and did hard things. Relaxing in the shade and refreshing ourselves in the waterfall was such a reward and made the hike back down less difficult as well.
I think of our journey in life. It is important to surround ourselves with those who also have similar goals in mind. Sometimes I wonder why it is necessary to go to Church each week and to all of the other various meetings and commitments. But, I think that it is necessary to be close to other people in order to “bear one another’s burdens”. We need to be close to others in a physical and spiritual sense. Life is hard. ”Thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:16). But in the meantime, we need to be surround ourselves with those who share our same ideals. They will encourage us and we will in turn encourage them.
One of my favorite quotes is: “what is this life for if not to make life less difficult for one another.”
Endure to the end.
And help someone else along the way.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
As Summer draws to a close and the weather begins to cool, we begin to see many changes in our family's lives. A new school year starts, new commitments arise, and we seem to become involved in more activities than during the leisure days of summer. We now have homework to do, or homework to help with. There are new commitments in our lives. School meetings and ball games to attend. Lessons and practices take up a larger part of our lives. It seems as the days become shorter our lives become much more hectic and we can become overwhelmed with our day to day activities and commitments. We find that we have to make changes in our routine to fit everything we need to do into 24 hours. As this begins to happen I would suggest that we recommit ourselves to service.
We are a church of service. From our callings in the church to home teaching and visiting teaching, blessing and passing the sacrament, collecting fast offerings, setting up and taking down chairs, taking meals to the sick, helping people move into and out of the ward, attending the temple, cleaning the church building, attending meetings and activities that others have spent so much time in preparation for, as well as countless acts of service that go unseen - We are a church of service.
The scriptures abound with calls for service. King Benjamin taught “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” In a talk by President Monson, he says “The Savior taught His disciples, 'For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.' I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.”
Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed by the business of our daily lives that we can forget those who need our help and the blessings we receive by providing that help. I relate a story from my own life not because I am a master at giving service but because it illustrates a point. Many years ago I was getting off the freeway in Orem by UVU. I was coming home from work and was tired. There was an old pick-up truck 2 or 3 vehicles in front of me. The light turned green and the truck did not move. We waited. Finally the two cars in front pulled around and went on their way and I was now stuck behind the truck through another red light. The light turned green again and still the truck did not move. My level of annoyance began to rise, but I was impressed that I should get out and see if the driver needed help. I went to the passenger side of the truck and there was a young mother with tears steaming down her face and her child in a car seat next to her. She told me her truck had stalled and she had been sitting there for 45 minutes and I was the first one to stop and help. This was before the days of cell phones so she had no way to call for help. I got behind her truck and started to push, soon I was joined by another man and a woman and we pushed the truck through that long intersection and to the side of the road. Another woman then stopped and offered a ride to the young mother and her child, and eventually we were all on our way. The thing that has stuck with me all these years is that she had sat in one of the busiest intersection in the state for 45 minutes. How many people had passed her by? I am grateful for the impression I had to stop and help that day and the lesson it taught me about service.
In a talk by President Monson, he says “I am confident it is the intention of each member of the Church to serve and to help those in need. At baptism we covenanted to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” How many times has your heart been touched as you have witnessed the need of another? How often have you intended to be the one to help? And yet, how often has day-to-day living interfered and you’ve left it for others to help, feeling that “oh, surely someone will take care of that need”?
We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives. Were we to step back, however, and take a good look at what we’re doing, we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the “thick of thin things.” In other words, too often we spend most of our time taking care of the things which do not really matter much at all in the grand scheme of things, neglecting those more important causes.
It is my prayer that as the new school year begins and the seasons begin to change that we can recommit ourselves to the service of others and the savior.