One thing I do each day (when I’m operating in Things I Do Every Day mode) is sing two hymns. Every night Kerry and I sing a hymn before we read our chapter from the scriptures. We use the hymnbook’s accompanying CDs and work our way straight through. We’ve gotten pickier after so many times through. We often skip long hymns or ones we sung that day in church or that we just heard in General Conference (as was the case last night). After all, this is supposed to be enjoyable and worshipful, not a forced march.
So, this morning, as I’m trying to reinstate the Daily Grind (I don’t think of it as a grind, of course!), I started singing “Come Unto Jesus.” (The third verse is my favorite.) And I realized I was hardly paying attention. I was swinging my foot in an anxious manner and was practically on the verge of standing up. I love to sing the hymns, but I realized that I was feeling like I should be up and doing–moving on to the next thing before I had completed this one, and without enjoying it. So I said to myself essentially, “Be here now,” which might sound trendy (old-trendy), but it works.
Thereafter, as I sat singing I felt some peace steal over me. Spots of tension became obvious and I relaxed–you guessed it–my neck and shoulders. Took deep breaths (as much as one can while singing). And then other thoughts came which I thought were profound, so I stopped the song, wrote them down, then resumed singing.
This learning experience was similar to what I’d learned while praying. I said to myself that I need to take time to really pray, to be guided in what I pray for. I’d already written a mammoth list of all the stuff I wanted to do today (and it was merely an ice berg tip of what I wish I could accomplish) and it’s not that it seemed overwhelming, but I know from experience that it won’t get done–not all, not even half. I’ll do a number of other things then add them to the list (like everyone sensible does) so I can then immediately cross them off.
So much of what I do is just rushing around “getting things done.” I figure if it’s good, then it’s good–do it. (Based on the “we’ll be judged on whether or not our actions are good, not amazing or important” principle.) And I know this seems obvious, but I forget to remember it–I need to take a breath and think, or “pause.”
(Pausing is SO SO SO important–see the story of Mary and Gabriel as compared to Zacharias and Gabriel. Also look at Joseph’s reaction to his dream. Mary and Joseph paused before asking a crucial question or taking action. Poor Mr. Z just doubted.)
Here’s what I need to think about: “What does Heavenly Father want me to do? What’s good, better, and best? Do what’s good, but do the best good.” Now that’s a delightful building block to add onto what I’ve been clinging to for a few years now. Do the best good.
In general my perception of best will be the thing I do, but sometimes what I think isn’t as good as something else–or even what appears disastrous (like cleaning up a Polly mishap)–may turn out to be the best good after all.