Today’s gratitude post comes from my BFF Cody Moulton. (What can I say? I am just a big fan of Cody Ms. They’re good people).
From the time we weirdly pulled our legs and arms inside our t-shirts and hopped around like tiny human balls with feet and heads in the 3rd grade, it was friendship magic. I WISH I had a picture to give you a better visual. In high school, our group of friends called ourselves The Fellowship (ala Lord of the Rings) and we dubbed Cody our Gimli, since he could make you laugh till’ you peed/was a kick-butt friend who’d defend you to the death. He was also the Atticus to my Jean-Louise in our high school production of To Kill a Mockingbird and lived up to that title, too. I have always admired his light, goodness, and insight, and my life is so much better for knowing him. Yours will be, too. So GET READIN’, fools!
“Well, gee whiz! I’ve never written anything for a blog before but what the heck! I rather enjoy reading other people’s perspectives, especially in this blog for gratitude month! So here’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately: Gratitude is one of the most important things for us to get a grip on as humans. I think it truly allows us to be positive and make the best of our situations, regardless of what the outcome may be.
It’s been a pretty crazy year for me with school, figuring out what I need to do to graduate in a year, supporting my wife as she teaches 5th grade (bunch of riotous gremlins) and managing side projects I feel compelled to work on.
Part of this busy year has been going through the LDS seminary teaching program, which is quite the program with typically few people that actually end up teaching seminary. We had a class the other day that helped us focus less on worrying about the outcome of the class but rather the process. We watched a video where a father and son spent a weekend together out in a fairly remote area. On their way back home, they came to a fork in the road. Neither of them could remember which way was to correct way to get back home. They both prayed and ended up feeling good about taking the path on the right. They quickly found that this led only to a dead end after a few minutes, so they turned around and took the other path.
The son was confused and asked his father why he felt like God wanted them to take the road on the right if it was the wrong road. I thought that the father’s response was very insightful. He asked his son if he could imagine what it would have been like if they took the road on the left first. They could have been wondering for miles and miles whether or not the road they were on was the correct one, causing them much stress and worry since there was no way they could confirm whether the path was correct or not. However, by going a short distance down the wrong road, they quickly found that it was incorrect and made a course correction, never having to worry about which path was correct once they were on that road.
I thought this was a great perspective to have. We can either look at an experience like that and think our time was wasted going down a road that didn’t work out, or we can be grateful that we quickly found out what was wrong for us, enabling us to move forward in another direction with confidence. Many of us in the class won’t end up teaching seminary, but all of us will have the opportunity to learn what we need to learn to move forward with more confidence and commitment in our lives with whatever path we do end up taking.
This principle applies in all of our lives. With gratitude, we can see the good in our experiences. Without it, we might discourage ourselves and lose hope. As I have been taking these seminary teaching classes, I felt inspired (straight up out of nowhere) to start a podcast about having natural gospel conversations with a great friend of mine I met on my mission (www.inblackandwhiteshow.com – go check it out if you’re interested!). This has become an important part of me trying to create something of pertinence and value to people. It’s been very encouraging to me to have found this experience through the uncertainty of school and even the class I’m in.
I worry much less about the outcome now because I’ve already found something I know I needed to find at this time in my life. For that, I am truly grateful! Regardless of the outcome and whether or not I end up teaching seminary, I know this experience has brought value to my life. I’m grateful that God has helped me to see that early on in this case, even though I have absolutely no idea yet if this is the right path for me. It’s just a much better way to live with gratitude in our hearts because it helps us to see the positive in everything we are going through and make the best of it. Gratitude is about seeing the good – and there’s always something good there, we just have to recognize it. That’s what I believe, anyway!
Also, here’s the video I referenced if anyone wants to watch it – it’s pretty legit: