I love this journal entry that I wrote almost thirteen years ago and wanted to share it with you today:
August 27, 2006
“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6)
That statement has been in my mind since yesterday, after I read it in Alma. It’s the little things – the simple things we do that can bring about the big things. (Scripture reading – Prayer – Having Christlike attributes – Faith.)
“Nevertheless, because those miracles worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey.” (Alma 37:41)
They were led by the Lord and led by his miracles and then perhaps they rested, got comfy and relaxed with all that God had provided them. Then since life was good maybe they weren’t as diligent and focused so the Lord stopped leading them and they didn’t progress.
“Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course or were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.” (Alma 37:42)
A lack of focus will take us on strange paths or perhaps nowhere at all. Without focus we’re not sure where we’re going or what we’re doing – what’s the purpose?
I’ve felt like that before-that I’m floundering and not doing things in my life with purpose but just living comfortably lazy, and, honestly, feeling empty. Many times I’ve come home not knowing what’s for dinner; made something so we could eat; we sat comfortably in the living room (because the kitchen table was a mess); we end up watching TV (nothing worthwhile); we vegged for the rest of the night; we went to bed and I played a game on my iPod for a while; then “lights out” and our household fell asleep only to repeat the cycle another time.
In my auto-pilot life where things were mostly the same I felt stuck in my wilderness and didn’t progress. I didn’t consistently do the small and simple things (pray, read scriptures, focus on spiritual things) because I didn’t have plans to do them. It’s not that I didn’t have time to do them, but that somehow time got away from me.
“And now [Jade] do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live. Even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.” (Alma 37:46)
Right now life is easy for some of us. We aren’t struggling; we have money; we have comfort; everyone is good. But deep inside is everyone good? Outwardly our lives may seem good but inwardly we may feel empty, stuck, or far from Heavenly Father. Do we only feel close to Him when we have problems and when life isn’t good?
More discipline is required to stay on the straight and narrow path and to feel close to Heavenly Father when life is good because when life is good we have options and don’t need Him. But like the scripture says, “Don’t be slothful“, and that means “don’t stop going to Him but depend on Him like when we needed Him.” Be thankful. Give of ourselves to others. Don’t get all comfortable with what we have and just think about ourselves but see how we can help make life better for “them” and then do it.
Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to have a life of struggles, but He wants us to be close to Him at all times (good times and bad times.) He wants us to continually seek Him by consistently doing the little things, by always thinking of others and by serving.
“See that ye take care of these sacred things. See that ye look to God and live.” (Alma 37:47)
Good times are times to be grateful and happy, and to cherish sacred things. They are also times to help others because life is good. Don’t be slothful but get out of ourselves and look to God and live.