Wait For It
The last couple of years have taught me a few things, some of which I had to learn more than once by foolishly repeating the same mistakes. I think I’m finally getting a handle on two of these essential life lessons, but the jury is still out—after all, tomorrow is ripe for slip-ups.
Lesson One: Sometimes it feels like everything around you is falling apart. Maybe your relationships, health, housing, finances, politics, the world in general, or all of the above seem like a hopeless mess. Does it feel like there’s no way out and nothing will ever get better? I totally get it. Here’s what I’ve learned: Wait twenty-four hours.
Just when I’m on the verge of stopping the merry-go-round to exit stage left, a single day goes by and the world seems a little brighter. Sometimes it takes a little longer and my problems might not be resolved, but my perspective and ability to handle them has usually improved. Of course, some things are irrevocably broken and won’t be fixed in this life, but it is a universal truth that time changes most everything. Now if I can only remember to wait.
Lesson Two: It’s important to look forward, not back. We tend to romanticize the past. We might even long for the good old days we lived through (the 1970s seemed pretty great as a kid) or even days gone by we never experienced (the 1950s look like a fun time to be alive). It’s hard not to think these were simpler, happier times.
But here’s the thing: In order to live the best life possible, we need to believe that better days lie ahead. When we persist in looking back, we rob ourselves of the joy of today and tomorrow. In a January 2010 Ensign article, “The Best is Yet to Be,” Jeffrey R. Holland said, “Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us.”
The times we live in are challenging. Trouble lurks on every corner while uncertainty and frustration run rampant. But we also live in a time of plenty, filled with the blessings of liberty, prosperity, and security. Technology has opened doors and provided freedom and interaction that previous generations could never have imagined. To borrow a phrase from Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities, we find ourselves in an age that is the best of times and the worst of times.
So, if you feel hopelessly stuck and buried under a mountain of trouble, do whatever you can to work through your problems, then take a breath and wait for the sky to clear. Look forward with faith to a future of brighter days.