My sister, who is 20 years old and has Down’s Syndrome, saw a picture of a boy with perfect 6 pack-abs. She turned to our other sister and said with a grin, “I like his ribs!”
Another sister of mine, who is a wildly popular group fitness instructor as well as a a big blogger, should be writing this post!
For me, carving out time to work out is as much work as working out. After helping children out the door to the bus (fed, dressed and home-worked), dressing and feeding the little ones, putting Noelle to bed for a nap, making sure Henry has an activity to keep him occupied– then, I can hop into my running clothes and run for a bit. I don’t actually go anywhere (elliptical machine = staying in vicinity of children) but my little computer on my machine tells me how many strides I’ve taken, how many calories I’ve burned, how long since I started and the grade of my never-ending up hill.
Now, when I’ve worked so hard to make this moment of exercise happen, by golly, I’m going to run like someone is chasing me.
Well, I wish that were always true.
Even with how hard I worked to assure this time to work out, sometimes I slow down a bit and spend a few too many minutes on level one resistance. Will someone please tell me why it is usually on these days that the baby wakes up early from her nap or the 3 year old no longer is occupied by his activity? I tragically find that my carefully set-aside exercise time has ended. But the worst part is I didn’t even break a sweat.
The bitter feeling of regret leaves a terrible taste in a mortal’s mouth.
Why? Because we are mortal, at least for the time being. In His infinite wisdom, God has created an earthly experience where “time flies on wings of lightening, we cannot call it back.” (Hymns) What better way to teach us the value of choice then by making the moment of each choice unavailable to us as soon as it passes.
The perfection of His Plan is that He keeps giving us new moments to ‘try again.’ While we feel deeply our lost time, we also have been given a perfect way to hope that our lost time can actually be ‘learn time.’
Recognizing the limited nature of time helps us to choose wisely. One of my favorite maxims my husband lives by is “simulate an environment of relative scarcity.” In other words, human nature causes us to work our hardest and our best the night before our paper is due. Heaven nature (which is usually just the opposite of human nature…) must then be that we work our hardest and our best evenly throughout.
The energy I feel throughout the rest of the day after working out my hardest in my short (but precious) time teaches me this principle. So even though I have all day to read my scriptures, I’m going to have a concentrated, focused study in the morning. Although I might have 18 years to teach my children the gospel before they move out, I’m going to go read scriptures with them before bed tonight. And while it is true that I am lucky enough to be joined with my husband for eternity, I’m going to think of something specific I can do right now to show him how much I love him.
Thanks for studying with me today!
S: (Prayer/Ask) How will seeing my time on Earth as limited help me become a better disciple of Jesus Christ?
- Here is a quote from Elder Cook in October 2014. How does the question at the end help solve the problem he poses at the beginning of this quote?
Sometimes it feels like we are drowning in frivolous foolishness, nonsensical noise, and continuous contention. When we turn down the volume and examine the substance, there is very little that will assist us in our eternal quest toward righteous goals. One father wisely responds to his children with their numerous requests to participate in these distractions. He simply asks them, “Will this make you a better person?” (Choose Wisely)
- Here is another quote from Elder Cook’s talk.
I encourage everyone, young and old, to review goals and objectives and strive to exercise greater discipline. Our daily conduct and choices should be consistent with our goals. We need to rise above rationalizations and distractions. It is especially important to make choices consistent with our covenants to serve Jesus Christ in righteousness. (Choose Wisely)
- Even though you know this scripture well, read without skimming:
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run fasterthan he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. (Mosiah 4:27)
- This quote from the most recent General Conference gives direction– direction determines our pace:
What responsibility do we have as members of the Church of Jesus Christ? President Joseph Fielding Smith expressed it as follows: “We have these two great responsibilities. … First, to seek our own salvation; and, second, our duty to our fellow men.”
These, then, are the main responsibilities that our Father has assigned to us: seeking our own salvation and that of others, with the understanding that in this statement, salvation means reaching the highest degree of glory that our Father has provided for His obedient children.3 These responsibilities that have been entrusted to us—and which we have freely accepted—must define our priorities, our desires, our decisions, and our daily conduct. Elder Jorge F. Zeballos
- How does the pressure of time affect you?
- What does God want us to learn from the limited time of mortality?
R: (Write) your thoughts, what you learned, impressions you received, and anything else in your scripture journal (include your thoughts on the study session question: How will seeing my time on Earth as limited help me become a better disciple of Jesus Christ?)
- Write down four goals you’ve had in the back of your mind. Then assess how well you’ve done with working towards them.
- Write down two things that help you feel urgency in your discipleship. For example, having a specific calling might help you you feel like daily scripture study is a must.
E: (Prayer/Thank)- thank God for what you’ve learned and ask if there is anymore.
The Challenge: Look back at the second quote from Elder Cook. Take the time to review your goals, objectives and the level of your discipline. Make commitments to improve in the areas you see while you prayerfully ponder.
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