Jana and I bought a juicer at Costco last Monday. We love it. We have made fresh juice every day since then – in several combinations of apples, nectarines, oranges, strawberries, pears, grapefruits, and bananas. A few times I have made juice instead of snacking on something less healthy.
It has already made a difference in how I feel. I think this is a parallel lesson to the idea that happiness is an inside-out job. How we feel physically is impacted by what we put into our bodies (I know, not rocket science!). What we put into our bodies slowly affects what we become. I like a good bowl of ice cream as much as anyone (most of you reading this probably already know that), but a fresh, natural glass of juice will wear on me better (outside and inside) over the long haul.
Our Elder’s Quorum lesson at church today was taken from President Eyring’s talk in October 2007 General Conference, “God Helps the Faithful Priesthood Holder”. Our instructor, Eli Robbins, does a great job of teaching the doctrine through focusing on the prophets’ words and leading class discussion. Today, we talked about the 3 things President Eyring said we might receive as answers when we pray about a difficult assignment (specifically a Priesthood assignment, but I think it applies generally):
1. Assurance and recollection that God has helped us and loved us in the past
2. Forget yourself, and focus on those you are serving
3. Get to work doing something good
I thought particularly about number 2, and how that is often the one that gets in the way for me, and perhaps for others. I know that when I am filled with Heavenly Father’s love, I have much more to give to others. When I am spiritually and emotionally “empty”, it is much more difficult and more of a chore to do even the smallest acts of service.
I believe, then, that much of the challenge in this area is to prepare; that is, to use my personal time wisely, doing things that will fill me up with God’s love. Things like scripture study, personal prayer, pondering the wonders of God’s creations and the instances He has blessed and guided me in the past (President Eyring’s number 1); these things fill me up a lot more than reading about sports (one of my time-wasters), politics, current news, or other things that tempt me in my free time. I’m not saying these particular things are evil, only that they should be necessarily secondary because they do less to build me up into the person I was created to be. They bear less good fruit in my life.
I read Stephen Covey’s book “The Divine Center” a few years ago. In it, Dr. Covey asserts that when we place Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ at the center of our lives, all other things more naturally find their proper place (in my case – the sports, politics, and news “things”, among others). But without the divine center, anything in life can become an inappropriate focus for us. So the main question is, am I becoming more Christlike? Am I coming closer to Him? He is always waiting for us to do so, and will supply us with more power to do it than we could imagine having ourselves. And He will give us rest, which for me means much desired inner peace (Matthew 11:28-30).
Make it a great week!