Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Thinking – “Every path hath a puddle.” – George Herbert

There is just no getting around it. Some of life’s challenges are not pretty. They don’t look pretty. They don’t smell pretty. They don’t sound pretty. But. They’re our challenges, we carry them, and we own them.

On the other hand, some challenges have a romantic nature. Others cheer. They pray. They send flowers. They write songs about them. They hold their breath and hope the challenged will conquer.

Regardless of whether our challenges are public or private, inspiring or discomfiting, short-lived or long-term, they have the capability to first soften, slowly refine, and at last strengthen us. That is the purpose of them, right?  To help us be the best we can be – to make our backs a little straighter, our necks more bowed.

Like you, I have had both kinds of challenges:  the pretty and the ugly. Regardless of their nature, all. were. difficult.  

Photo by Tony Mills -- National Geographic

Like you, sometimes I have been able to stay balanced and remain poised while I carried them . . . 

while other times the challenges dangled from me as I slumped with little dignity intact.

Today I watched this music video. I especially enjoyed the last few seconds where it shows a variety of challenges that people carry. Regardless of our challenges, be they publicly celebrated or quietly carried, they’re ours for the growing and, God be thanked, He doesn’t expect us to carry them alone.  Nor does He not give us something in return for carrying them.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about: what others' challenges are and if there is something I can do to help carry them rather than just telling them how to readjust their load so it isn't so uncomfortable watching them carry it.

How about you? What have you been thinking about?


Haley Krumblis said...

I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately. I have really struggled with a challenge that I have had and often get sad about it. But then I think of other people's challenges out there and how much greater they may be. I would give anything to help others with their challenges, and sometimes it's hard to face my own. However, two things inspired me recently. Just this last Sunday the teacher said to turn anywhere in your scriptures and just read. I opened randomly to D & C 150:30. All I had to do was read the first line and tears started..."But know this, it shall be given you what you shall ask..."; another testament came during conference. I realized I didn't prepare and ask to hear what I needed. During one talk I quietly said a prayer for help with hearing something that I needed. Once again tears started as the next speaker began his talk on the very challenge I was facing. Okay I kind of babbled, but back to the point. It is amazing realizing what people's challenges are and really trying to help them carry the load. That's what life is all about:)

Puhlman said...

That was a beautiful video. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what I can do in my dads honor. Nov. 1st marks a year since he passed. He was always doing for others and I want to do something but I'm having a hard time thinking of the perfect 'thing'. It helps to realize that everyone around us is going through something. We are never alone in our struggles...though at times it seems like it.

Jane....thank you for being you. You are an amazing example of a mother, wife, teacher, I look up to you in so many way. I love you.

Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

Yesterday I was thinking about reasons why I serve... Last year I served others to make friends. There was no if ands or buts about it. I needed friends and I knew that was a great way to get them. I also served because my mom told me to. she said (and did) that when the relief society sign up went around, you sign up, it is what you do. This year I have noticed that I have begun serving others because I care. I do it more for them then for me and out of habit verses responsibility. I can always be better and find better and more ways to serve... but that is just what I was thinking.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I LOVE what you are all thinking.

Haley, I love what you shared. Thank you. I find hope in your words.

Lisa, thank you. I love to run into you. I'm so glad you moved closer.

Danielle, your comment reminds me of a quote by Brigham Young: “If my heart is not fully given up to this work, I will give my time, my talents, my hands, and my possessions to it, until my heart consents to be subject. I will make my hands labor in the cause of God, until my heart bows in submission to it.” I think of that in regards to service: even if I don't feel like it, if I will do it my heart will eventually follow my hands.

melanie said...

I've been thinking about how crazy it is to move 9 months pregnant. It feels like such a heavy load (pun definitely intended) and one I've been wanting to hide from. There are so many willing helpers that I do feel my load lightened and not just advice on how to readjust. What a blessing that is! I love this song and how inspiring music can be. The end was perfect, most of those trials were not outward, we just never know what people are going through and how much we can help them.

I also love how inspiring you are, I love this post. Miss you!

Great Brigham Young quote too.

Michelle said...

Well now that is a tear-jerker. I'm kind of glad no one was around to see me watch that video. Dallin said my mom worked that video into her seminary lesson about Joseph of Egypt yesterday. What a powerful message. Thanks Jane -- I needed that. Love you.

Alisa said...

It all makes me think to treat everyone I meet a little more gently.
I think of the personal struggles that I have not shared with others, but were a huge load. So many are carrying larger loads, and if I could see the sign with words telling me exactly what they were going through I would jump to help. So I can at least be more kind. Let them in front of me in line.
You get me thinking Jane all the time. And crying.

Julie said...

You always seem to put your finger right on what I'm thinking too. I love the puddle quote! We've just heard of some big trials to face in our future and they don't look so fun but there is such hope in the message of that song. Thank you for sharing! I've had my good cry for today and I'm ready to go out and serve someone else so my troubles seem less. Thanks!

michelle said...

I watched that video yesterday, too! And my favorite part was definitely the end, with everyone holding up their signs. So often, our trials are not visible on the outside. I have been thinking about how willing I would be to reach out to others and lend a hand or a hug if I knew what they were going through. And praying to know what I can do to help those whose troubles are not advertised to the world.

That Brigham Young quote is amazing.

Becky said...

I loved that video and posted it a few days ago on my Facebook page. Hilary Weeks' music has been an inspiration to me many times through the years. I love this post...

Today marks the day that my dad left our family thirteen years ago; I am so grateful for the Atonement. I still note the date but the pain is gone because of the passage of time and the Savior's love.

In regards to other more recent trials I have been reminded of the analogy of someone pushing on a rock and getting discouraged because they can't move it...only to find that was never the purpose of the was just to make them stronger.

It may seem odd to others but I am grateful for trials.

camery said...

thank you for this post. what a wonderful reminder.