The other day I started studying about living in the present. As I studied about the “one day at a time” cliche, I found a few articles at LDS.org that really caught my attention. One is called “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.”
It starts out with this quote:
Thoughtful planning and preparation are key to a rewarding future, but we do not live in the future—we live in the present. It is day by day that we work out our plans for the future; it is day by day that we achieve our goals. It is one day at a time that we raise and nurture our families. It is one day at a time that we overcome imperfections. We endure in faith to the end one day at a time. It is the accumulation of many days well-lived that adds up to a full life and a saintly person. And so I would like to talk to you about living well day by day.
I love this quote.
It is important to have an idea about where I want to go and what are things I can do to get there. But I have to start with today. I have to live in the moment, take things one day, even one moment, at a time, and thank God for giving me another moment to draw closer to Him.
Today has been one of those days. Becky and I got up early this morning to go to the Payson temple to be ushers for the open house. It was a really great experience. I was by the elevator on the 3rd floor and she was across the hall from me.
Surprisingly, we didn’t see a ton of people we knew, but it was a really memorable and spiritual experience. I feel strongly that I want to work there and go there often.
Doing that work this morning was living in the moment and taking things one step at a time. I’m grateful we had that opportunity.
I like this counsel:
…pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul” (2 Nephi 32:9)
Is what I’ve done today, what I’m doing now, going to be for the welfare of my soul?
Am I trying to get closer to God by what I’m doing right now?
I can honestly say that yes, I’m trying to do His will at the moment.
This is a great scripture section that confirms living one day at a time:
By providing a daily sustenance, one day at a time, Jehovah was trying to teach faith to a nation that over a period of some 400 years had lost much of the faith of their fathers. He was teaching them to trust Him, to “look unto [Him] in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:36). He was providing enough for one day at a time. Except for the sixth day, they could not store manna for use in any succeeding day or days. In essence, the children of Israel had to walk with Him today and trust that He would grant a sufficient amount of food for the next day on the next day, and so on. In that way He could never be too far from their minds and hearts.
I really liked this suggestion too from the talk:
Though I suffered then, as I look back now, I am grateful that there was not a quick solution to my problem. The fact that I was forced to turn to God for help almost daily over an extended period of years taught me truly how to pray and get answers to prayer and taught me in a very practical way to have faith in God. I came to know my Savior and my Heavenly Father in a way and to a degree that might not have happened otherwise or that might have taken me much longer to achieve.
How am I doing this?
What am I doing on a daily basis to learn to turn to God and ask for His help?
How am I getting to know God and Jesus Christ through my challenges?
I felt this directly the other day when I went to the mall with the kids. Malls are a dangerous place: the marketing, the people that are there, they can all be temptations of the natural man.
I remember specifically seeing a husband and wife who walked past the kids and I. I could tell just from my peripheral that the woman was wearing workout clothes or something really form fitting. The problem was, they weren’t walking much faster than we were but fast enough that they were able to pass us in our route.
Being aware of my situation, I said a quick prayer in my head that went something like this: “Heavenly Father, please help me to practice the chin up approach. Help me to live in recovery and not look at this person in a lustful way. Help me to stay close to thee and submit my will to thee right now.”
I may have even asked for this help a couple times.
And the miracle is that it worked. Never at any time did I look at the woman from the chin down. In fact, I believe I only slightly glanced at her face and knew right away that it was a red flag situation.
I’m grateful that, in that moment, I was able to submit my life and will over to God. I’m grateful that He was there to help me.
Lust is such a “natural man” tendency. As I watch other people’s eyes as people pass them by, whether it’s males or females, they are constantly checking one another out up and down. Becky and I talked about this last night – for men it’s lust and for women it’s comparing. Neither of these characteristics is what God wants me to do.
I know that all I can do is live one day at a time, even one moment at a time.
I was grateful that, today, in the temple, I was able to practice this principle of the chin up, and I was guided. I even ran into Greg, the facilitator who taught me this principle. I also ran into a guy I’d met at the Thursday group.
I’m grateful for the desire to live one day at a time.
I’m grateful to want to be my best self and be grateful for what Heavenly Father has blessed me with.
I look forward to continuing to live in the present and seek God’s will and to have the power to carry it out.