We've been challenged by our Stake President to read a General Conference talk each night. Last night, as the Warden was looking one up, I fell asleep. I didn't even get to hear it, but this morning, the Warden drew my attention to the talk he'd read. He said, "It just might have something to do with spiraling upward." Here is the quote he was referring to:
"I know that your quest to improve may seem overwhelming at times. Please do not become discouraged with your progress. I think back on my experience hiking with my children. We agreed that every time we stopped to catch our breath, rather than focusing exclusively on how much farther we needed to go, we would immediately turn around and look down the mountain. We would take in the scenery and say to each other, “Look how far we’ve come.” Then we would take a deep breath, quickly turn, face uphill, and start climbing again one step at a time. Brothers and sisters, you can parent, lead, and teach after the manner of the workings of the Spirit. I know you can do this. I testify you can do this, and lives will change" (Matthew O. Richardson).
As I've been working on reading the Standard Works, I got a chance to read through the creation again. I think it's interesting, as I've mentioned in previous posts, that God looks back after each task He's completed and says, "It is good." What an example this is to us.
The other thing that struck me this time through was the example that God sets for us of the need to care for ourselves. Not only did he take an entire day to rest, but he hallowed it and sanctified it and made it a commandment. We've basically been commanded to take it easy on ourselves every so often.
It is good in our crazy lives to take a moment to step back, look to where we've come from and give ourselves a good ol' pat on the back. We need to rest for awhile and then get right back on track.
In the story the Matthew Richardson shares, he talks about nearing the top of a rather steep grade during a hike with his son and 8-year-old daughter. He talks about his daughter's frustration and discouragement as she reaches this point because there was gravel underfoot and they would sink in and be dragged backward a bit each time they stepped. He likens their solution to the problem to us.
He said that he directed his daughter to grab onto his back pockets and as soon as he lifted his foot, she was to put her foot in the spot he just stepped out of. They developed a rhythm to their progress.
Hmm...seems there might be some further upward spiraling lessons in this one.....