Friday, June 3, 2011

#12 To-Do

Accept His Timing
It's hard when you have friends getting married or having children and you feel stuck. You want what they have, but comparison to others will not make you feel peace about your own situation. There is a time and season for all things. Ecclesiastes 3 reads "a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing." That is pretty specific and quite comforting to a broken heart. Elder Oaks gave a great talk at a CES devotional about how important timing is. Remind yourself that you want to live and do God's will. His is more important than your own. Here is the link to the full talk, but a few snippets of the text has been copied here:

In all the important decisions in our lives, what is most important is to do the right thing. Second, and only slightly behind the first, is to do the right thing at the right time. People who do the right thing at the wrong time can be frustrated and ineffective. They can even be confused about whether they made the right choice when what was wrong was not their choice but their timing.

In our service in the Lord’s Church we should remember that when is just as important as who, what, where, and how.

We prepare in the way the Lord has directed. We hold ourselves in readiness to act on the Lord’s timing. He will tell us when the time is right to take the next step. For now, we simply concentrate on our own assignments and on what we have been asked to do today. In this we are also mindful of the Lord’s assurance: “I will hasten my work in its time” (D&C 88:73).
It is not enough that we are going in the right direction. The timing must be right, and if the time is not right, our actions should be adjusted to the Lord’s timetable as revealed by His servants.
For example, we cannot be sure that we will marry as soon as we desire. A marriage that is timely in our view may be our blessing or it may not. My wife Kristen is an example. She did not marry until many years after her mission and her graduation.
The timing of marriage is perhaps the best example of an extremely important event in our lives that is almost impossible to plan. Like other important mortal events that depend on the agency of others or the will and timing of the Lord, marriage cannot be anticipated or planned with certainty. We can and should work for and pray for our righteous desires, but despite this, many will remain single well beyond their desired time for marriage.
So what should be done in the meantime? Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ prepares us for whatever life brings. This kind of faith prepares us to deal with life’s opportunities—to take advantage of those that are received and to persist through the disappointments of those that are lost. In the exercise of that faith, we should commit ourselves to the priorities and standards we will follow on matters we do not control and persist faithfully in those commitments, whatever happens to us because of the agency of others or the timing of the Lord. When we do this, we will have a constancy in our lives that will give us direction and peace. Whatever the circumstances beyond our control, our commitments and standards can be constant.
I return to the subject with which I began. Do not rely on planning every event of your life—even every important event. Stand ready to accept the Lord’s planning and the agency of others in matters that inevitably affect you. Plan, of course, but fix your planning on personal commitments that will carry you through no matter what happens. Anchor your life to eternal principles, and act upon those principles whatever the circumstances and whatever the actions of others. Then you can await the Lord’s timing and be sure of the outcome in eternity.

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