Every year or so I add new habits to my list of things to do every day.
My latest is “eat carrots with every meal.” The simpler the activity, the more likely it will outlive my laziness.
Another of my daily activities is singing hymns. I try to sing two from the hymnbook daily, but I don’t always manage it. Sometimes, when I’m sick I sing hymns and it helps me feel a lot better.
The most important daily habit is my scripture study. I read The Book of Mormon for a half hour every day (and write notes about my thoughts). Sometimes I listen to it on iTunes, but reading is better. When I have any kind of difficulty, this sees me through. I often start my study time with a question, but today I started with a statement:
“Today I need peace in a troubled world.”
I happen to be reading 1 Nephi chapter 17. I’ve been on this chapter for a few days while I’ve struggled with a couple of troubling matters. I guess both are related to my own weakness, but one is my own defect, the other is an outside irritant.
These are some of the ideas that came to me while I pondered this morning.
I think that initially we all–Heavenly Father’s spirit children, in heaven–had an equal chance. We created our own differences by our choices. When we came to earth we were all clean, but some people had advantages because of their choices and their experiences.
When I was in high school, for a couple of days in my social studies class we had a really fun activity. We got to play the board game Careers. My family played this at home, so I already knew the strategy. I won. The next day, the people who won the games the day before were given extra advantages, so they totally skunked the other players. They couldn’t lose unless they CHOSE to lose.
The difference between the game and reality is that ANYONE can choose to have all the advantages at any time. I’m not talking about education, health, wealth–I’m talking about the advantages of the Spirit. It all depends on our choices. I’m always reminding myself that life isn’t about success. It’s about making choices. I don’t have to do great things. I only have to do good things, and then the great advantages of the spiritual life are mine.
Then I started thinking about weaknesses. And I asked myself, did God allow us to choose our weaknesses? Was it like school–required classes and electives? Then why would we choose certain ones? Maybe for ourselves, but also for others? One person healing a great weakness might benefit others. What might be the subsidiary strengths to complement one’s weaknesses? There’s good old General Ed. Desire to Obey. That one has carried me through many a dark night of the soul. And really, that’s sufficient. There are more, but that’s all I want to think about at this time.