Tuesday, October 5, 2010

be ye doers

back when i lived in the salty city, the girls and i had a little tradition we liked to call family out evening. because your friends are your (urban) family, especially in your away-from-home, single life. so, every monday night, we would get together and have our own little family time. and it was grand.

last night EH and picked up the FOE torch and headed to robert and laura's for homemade cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate, and a discussion our of favorite conference talks.

i will tell you that one of my favorite things in the world is sitting around with people i really like talking about the gospel. and it might sound nerdy or goody-goody or boring or lame, but i don't care. i always learn something new and hold my own beliefs a little more strongly and a little more carefully after i have talked them out with someone else. and i dig that.

so i was particularly glad last night when robert brought up a talk about the principle of agency, because this is something i have been pondering a lot lately. i feel like i have recently experienced for the first time, or at least the first time that i am so conscious of, not getting something i wanted and expected and worked for and hoped for because of the choices of someone else. and that experience has caused me to think about and come to believe a few things.

mostly, i have decided that although it is really whimsical and romantic to think that there are things that are just inevitable, meant to be, fated and out of our control, that is just not the case. we always, always have a choice. and even when other peoples' choices limit our choices we still have choices, including the ability to choose how we are going to react to the choices of others. (still with me?) nothing is ever out of our hands, in other words. and i find this a remarkably empowering thing to understand.

because i also believe that the more good choices we make, the more good choices we are able to make. one because good choices open the door to more good options, which lead to more good choices and so on forevermore and two, because making good choices is something we can practice and get better at, just like everything else. less-than-good choices, though, really close the door on opportunities that could make our lives a lot better.

and now i would like to say this. i am not perfect and i am betting that not many of you are either and sometimes we don't make the best choices and that is just life. i also believe in a loving heavenly father who works overtime to help us make the best of whatever choice we have made. i know that's true because he has done it for me. but i also know it is true that we can sure make his job easier by choosing the best we can in the first place.

the bottom line being that, though it isn't the hollywood model of divine providence sweeping in and making something magnificent out of my life through a series of increasingly preposterous coincidences hopefully involved jake gyllenhaal, i would prefer to be a person who dictates the choices in my life, instead of allowing my life to dictate my choices. i would rather act than be acted upon, would rather be in control than controlled. we can let our lives happen or we can make our lives happen, and i feel newly committed to being a doer.

now, of course, if jake gyllenhaal would like to join me, i would be totally down for that.

1 comment:

Sunshine said...

I wish I could have been there to enjoy the conference talk discussion, but mostly to enjoy the company. It must have been grand.

Oh, and for the cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate.