Today is my brother’s birthday. I tried to call him twice to wish him a ‘happy birthday’. Alas, I had to leave him voicemail and later he responded with a thank you via text. I’m thankful for the technological advances that allow us to keep in touch. I actually felt like talking though to catch up. With schedules and two time zones it’s sometime difficult. In fact I just got off the phone with another friend, also two time zones away, who needed to cut the conversation short because of a schedule – he had to tag team with his wife towatch the kids while she goes to a volleyball game and they have no reception in their apartment. With no intention of condemning these situations, they have reminded me of a recent talk given by a senior leader of our church, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, regarding the the things that matter most. Here’s a quote from his address:
Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives.
I feel like I do a pretty good job of leaving plenty of things undone on my to-do list. It probably doesn’t help that my list is pretty informal. I keep the list in my head. There’s good and bad in that. The one thing I’ve been craving for a while is more time to ponder. I don’t leave a lot of time for this activity, nor the energy. When I was in high school I had a pretty good routine going. After school and everything else I would usually find a spot at the top of the stairs at home, right outside my bedroom door (I shared a room) and there I would read scriptures. I also pondered and prayed. Sometimes the sessions were brief and other times they were longer. But I usually went to bed with a certain satisfaction obtained from stepping back to look at the bigger picture. It really helped, so I highly recommend it to any unsuspecting reader.