Friday, February 17, 2012

Are You Paying Attention?


     As I sat in the Bishop's office for the appointment my husband and I had scheduled, I explained to him our situation and that we needed his advice.  The decision my husband and I had come to were different.  I had mixed feelings about what we wanted to do, my husband was all for it, and my daughter who was also involved in the decision was extremely indifferent about the whole thing.  To this end, I was stressed and frustrated.
     Finally after booing and venting and weighing the pros and cons to the Bishop, he looked at me and said that all he was hearing were the pros and cons.  He had not heard anything spiritual and that what the Lord was doing for me was giving me things to think about and then pray about them.  Then at one point point I told him with tears in my eyes that I felt so empty, that I did not feel the Spirit like I had in the beginning and did not know why.  I was doing better at reading my scriptures daily,  was even doing better at personal prayer, was paying my tithing and fast offering; trying hard to do all the things I was supposed to be doing.  I still felt empty and alone.  What was wrong?  The Bishop looked me in the eyes and asked me, "What are you doing differently now that you weren't doing then"?  I hadn't really thought about it that way, so couldn't really give him an answer.  With that, he did give me the advice I was seeking and I agreed to follow his council.
     My husband who hadn't been feeling well was sitting in the foyer.  The Bishop was concerned because my husband was having trouble with his leg and was in a lot of pain.  He had one of his counselors and one of his clerks take John to the emergency room.  It was discovered that he had severe cellulitis in his legs, but at the same time was having extreme difficulty breathing.  He was admitted to the hospital and was there for 4 days.  It was during this period of time that I had more time to reflect on what the Bishop had asked me in his office.  "What are you doing differently now that you weren't doing then"? 
     As I was sitting in my recliner at home during the days I was alone and waiting for a ride to the hospital, I began to notice that I was watching an awful lot of TV.  Some of the programs I was watching I thought were okay until I began to notice a pattern.  Although they were food channels that I enjoyed watching, they were also programs that included the terms "Infrequent Coarse Language", "Strong Coarse Language", "Reality", "TV14", etc.  These were programs with ratings that I wouldn't allow the children to watch and here I was watching that which I would not allow them to watch.  Here in play, was the double standard.  Once I realized this, I began changing my watching habits.  It hasn't been easy because the cooking programs are my favorites.  The only ones I watch now are on the family channels.  We are never really aware of what we are doing sometimes if we aren't paying close attention. 
     Per Sam Horn, “In the final analysis, the quality of our life depends on our ability to consciously choose who and what we give our thoughts, interests moments and emotions to.”        Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency said,
"Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most."       Now I am trying to make a more concerted effort to watch only what I would allow the children to watch, read more uplifting material and pray more often.  I have felt more calm and less stressed.  I have also determined that I am not going to allow others to push my buttons. so to speak and ruin the spirit that I have strived to keep all day. 
     Let us remember that "it comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most".     
     

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