Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Brief, Out-of-Context, Conference Thoughts

So, as many of you know I like words, especially their specific definitions. Well, I also tend to pull small phrases from scriptures that really stick out to me and in this case I pulled small phrases or words that stuck out to me from Conference. After I pull them out I like to disect them or ponder them further. Many of the things I pulled from Conference and the thoughts I had about them are totally aside from the context in which they were intended but they taught me in my own little way.

The first thought came from the very first talk of Conference, by Elder Hales. He talked about Debt and Addiction but what I pulled out was a two word phrase, "BREAK CYCLES". Now obviously there are cycles to break when it comes to debt and addiction but it struck me in slightly more of a daily routine kind of way.

We all get stuck in these cycles (a series of occurrences that repeats or is repeated). Now some cycles might be more serious and even sinful but my thoughts turned to the cycles of everyday life. Here is an example of the kind of cycles I am talking about: I wait to the laundry until I have to or else there will be no fresh underwear the next day. Then when I do it, it either sits in the dryer or in a basket for hours or even days. Then the items that need to be hung up are draped across my bed. Bedtime eventually rolls around and I am tired and the unhung clothes get set aside to be hung up "the next day" (on a good day) or maybe a day or two later. Now this is only one of my many bad habits or cycles that if done promptly would relieve me of a lot of stress because our home would be much more orderly.

I have yet to sit down and think of all of the cycles that I have created that could use breaking but I am grateful for this thought to find the unwanted cycles or repeated occurrences in my life and stop them by creating positive and helpful cycles.

My next mini-thought comes from Elder Pearson's talk in the Saturday Afternoon Session. This thought is only one word, "FOCUS". To focus means to concentrate attention or energy on a central point of interest.

I think that our world and our lives are so full of distractions that we lose sight of where our attention and energy should be placed. I know that I do. So I love that word. What a simple directive, focus. I think one of the most important things is to know what our focus is. We may know what our overall focus is but what about having a daily focus. Do we just haphazardly go about our days and waist away time and energy on unimportant things of little value?

I've realized that my lens could use some tweaking to become more focused on the more important things and blurry and even unrecognizable in other unimportant, distracting things.

My last thought is from the Sunday Morning Session and comes from a talk by Sister Thompson. This line fits perfectly with my previous two thoughts, "BE FIXED IN YOUR PURPOSE." This phrase is pulled from the Hymn, "The Time is Far Spent". The verse goes like this:

Be fixed in your purpose, for Satan will try you;
The weight of your calling he perfectly knows.
Your path may be thorny, but Jesus is nigh you;
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.

Once again we must know where our focus should lie. We must know what our purpose is, to be fixed in it. As I have been writing I have had the thought that I might try and that is to write a personal mission statement or a personal purpose or focus.

Just as the verse of this song says I know that Satan will try us but I also know that has we break bad cycles, focus on what is most important, and are fixed in our divine purpose, Jesus is nigh and His arm is sufficient.

These are the simple phrases I pulled out of Conference and that I hope to learn from. I challenge us all to learn from the words of Conference and to make changes as the result of them. And as I have learned, let us "break cycles", have "focus", and "be fixed in [our] purpose".

1 comment:

pam said...

love your thoughts; you got me think.