Following Jesus Christ by Heeding a Leader’s Counsel
I so love to listen to general conference, but what do I do with the words that I hear and the promptings of personal revelation I receive?
One of the key messages that impressed me from the 2018 general women’s session was a line spoken by Michelle D. Craig: “ But peace comes in knowing that being more does not necessarily equate to doing more” (“Divine Discontent,” Ensign, Nov. 2018).
To me, this thought has come to mean that I need the Holy Spirit to help me know how to use my time better in all the responsibilities of my life, but it will not involve making me busier. Here are a few thoughts I have that relate to my personal life.
Praying About My Calling
I am the Cub Scout leader in our ward and work with just under a dozen boys.
I serve with other wonderful leaders and love my calling. As a schoolteacher, it can be challenging to wrap up my teaching duties and arrive at Cubs fresh and ready to go. I also coach after school sports. Even finding preparation time can be a challenge. For Cubs, we were recently planning an outdoor adventure activity at a local park, and I was wondering how I could actually go to the park and map out a course for the Cubs to follow. As I prayed and thought about this activity, the idea came of having each small group of boys plot out their own course as part of the activity. Then, we would all do the different courses together. This idea calmed my worries, and it required significantly less time to prepare.
The night before the activity, I was still anxious. I was trying to decide when I could find time to drive from the farm to town in order to buy a treasure to hide at the end of each course. After my husband listened to my concerns, he suggested using up some cookie dough from our freezer. His idea calmed my planning worries.
The next day the activity went well. I saw that one Cub (from the Philippines) was excited to find a piece of plastic that he could use as a sled. I also noticed that the other two leaders had the other Cubs in good control, so I hung back with this Cub and another boy and listened to them talk. The one shared his plans about how much fun he could have playing in the snow with his plastic sled. My heart filled with love for these two Cubs as they slowly walked and talked. When we caught up with the others, I realized my time and energy had been better used in trying to build connections with these boys, not in just planning activities for them. I felt like I was “being” more without “doing” more.
Inspiration for My Work
I teach a high school physical education class that needs to walk about eight blocks to our community center every day for class because we do not have access to a gym. We are all to walk the same route and not jay walk or cross people’s lawns. I would make a big deal about these requirements. Things would go well for a few days, and then students would again start the unwanted behaviors.
As I prayed for guidance, I had the thought to create an assignment for walking to the community center and attach a grade to it. This inspiration took very little time to put in place and brought an end to all the annoying walking problems. Again I felt like I was “being” more without “doing” more.
Supporting My Husband
I have a wonderful husband, and I need to show more appreciation for him. As I have sought the Spirit, I have had insight into how to better prioritize him in my life. He has a busy calling as the elder’s quorum president. Sometimes I may annoy him by reminding him of all the things he should be doing. For example, he was concerned about the needs of a sister in our ward and trying to make an appointment to meet with her. When I happened to see this sister at a store, I asked her if my husband and I could come see her that evening. She agreed.
Together, my husband and I went and had a wonderful visit with her. Instead of just reminding my husband of all the things he should do, I actually helped him accomplish something he felt he needed to do. I realized that we were both building our marriage and ministering to others’ needs. We were “being” more without really “doing” more.
These experiences have helped me learn that a key to using my time and energy better is to be more purposeful and intentional in all I do. I also need to invite the Spirit to help me be more without necessarily doing more. In her talk, Michelle D. Craig counseled: “The world often uses a feeling of discontent as an excuse for self-absorption, for turning our thoughts inward and backward and dwelling individually on who I am, who I am not, and what I want. Divine discontent motivates us to follow the example of the Savior, ‘who went about doing good’ (Acts 10:38). As we walk the path of discipleship, we will receive spiritual nudges to reach out to others” (“Divine Discontent,” Ensign, Nov. 2018).