Sunday, June 19, 2011

labor and wait

I've had a series of profound, uplifting thoughts today that I'd love to share one by one. However, I don't want to overwhelm or bore I'll just share one that, in my opinion, sums up all the rest:

Let us, then, be up and doing
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing, 
Learn to labor and to wait.

(Thank you, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.)

As you might have guessed, I have been struggling lately to do the right thing even though it's not what I want. I am so grateful for those moments, though, when it becomes obvious that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Someday, I WILL be good at this. Maybe in like a thousand years...but still.

This is life, and no matter how it turns out, I still have to be "up and doing" in one way or another. That's just how life works - even inaction counts as use of my agency, and I say that from experience. So really, what counts is that I have "a heart for any fate." My heart can handle any fate, because whatever fate comes to me, it is the one that Heavenly Father and I have worked out together. It's just...believing that is really hard sometimes. I forget that I'm an eternal being and these are temporary, mortal problems.

That's why I like the last line: learn to labor AND to wait. I can be really good at the laboring part - too good, sometimes, which gets me into trouble now and then. But I am learning to not just labor, which comes naturally, but to also wait. Wait on others and their agency, wait on my life to have circumstances favorable to what I want, wait on myself to grow and develop enough to handle it, wait on Heavenly Father to give me the go-ahead.

And someday He will. I doubt that sometimes, but I do not doubt today. Today I understand that yes, He could tell me yes or no, and He could tell me when and how. He could, but He won't, because I am too important to Him for that.  I am here to become like Him, not to get what I want when I want it. He has not removed the burden of my unrealized hopes, but He has lightened the load and strengthened my shoulders to bear it. That's the most beautiful part about it, I think: I still get to keep my dreams.


  1. Ok, I know I have way too many pregnant friends, but. You did say labor. :)

    Labor and wait. I agree that the hardest part is definitely the waiting. It's pretty easy to work when you know what you need to do -- just go nuts and work your guts out. The waiting is difficult.

    Maybe, sometimes, it's exactly the opposite: sometimes you have to wait and wait and wait before you can labor. Before all of the hard work. Maybe... maybe you're just in gestation still. :)

  2. I think that's a very apt metaphor. :)