When Nephi told Laman and Lemuel that they all needed to go get the plates from Laban, they protested, saying it was a “hard thing”. (1 Nephi 3:1-5)
We are going through a “hard thing” right now, there is no question. The “world turned upside down”, according to the musical Hamilton.
Once in a restaurant, the people next to us were loud and it was annoying me. “It’s whatever you focus on,” my husband said to me. “Tune them out and focus on what you were saying.”
I remember focusing and redirecting my thoughts. It took concentration and control. I was being proactive instead of reactive. It really worked! The next table fell away. Since then I have used that tool on relationships, projects, dissecting my life when I feel overwhelmed, and getting through many hard things, focusing on what I can do and what I can ignore. It is an acceptance of what is and seeing what is in your power to move forward and keep going.
Last Wednesday, it had snowed and as I peered out of the world blanketed with white, I felt grateful that I was warm, safe and dry. I was grateful we had heat! I thought that was a good intention for the day, instead of focusing on 3 new visitors taking shelter here plus four more driving from Portland to hold up for quarantining.
An hour later, at 7:15 am, when Magna, Utah was hit with a 5.7 earthquake, and we felt the house shaking, we all tumbled to the front hall to make sure everyone was ok. I thought, “God has such a sense of humor! Any complaining we were doing about how everything has shut down, has turned into relief and gratitude that it wasn’t worse. And a realization that things could get much, much worse.”
As J. Rueben Clarke said, “Choice is the crucible of character.” We can choose to examine and focus on what we can do to make the situation better. Let us choose to have this be a joyful time in our lives where we work and play at home. Let us focus on what is going right. Let us be a bright beam to our families. Let us keep our time reading the news to a minimum–enough to be informed but not reading obsessively. Let us be faithful and not fearful.
As we got even more snow yesterday I felt safely cocooned with people I love. As I watched the lovely snow come down, the words of the hymn came into my mind, “in the midst of affliction, my table is spread.”