Focusing on the Task at Hand

I teach a women’s class on Sunday at my church and here is the quote I’m going to start my lesson with. It’s beautiful and pretty much sums up life for me and is probably the reason I can get out of bed at all anymore.
“I hope we will not live in the past. People who live in the past don’t have very much future. There is a great tendency for us to lament about our losses, about decisions that we have made that we think in retrospect were probably wrong decisions. There is a great tendency for us to feel badly about the circumstances with which we are surrounded thinking they might have been better had we made different decisions. We can profit by the experience of the past. But let us not spend our time worrying about decisions that have been made, mistakes that have been made. Let us live in the present and in the future.”
Ezra T. Benson
Now, in this becoming process I have totally made mistakes.  Daily I make mistakes.  Sometimes I make mistakes and the same one in the same hour.  You’d think I’d learn. I’m pretty sure on the days when I tell my kids the same thing over and over and it drives me nuts that God is upstairs watching me and thinking, I’ve told her that a hundred times or if she just listened to me.  That is why I am excited to explore this lesson. It’s all about hope for the future through repentance and letting go of our pasts.  I think too it is realizing that Christ really did take those sins upon Him so that we could free ourselves. That’s a difficult concept to grasp and sometimes even to acknowledge.


When I was in college I was in an abusive relationship. Thankfully I was able to end that and that story is a gift from God to me. I’ll tell you sometime, if it is the right time because that really was one time I felt God directly in my life. Today though the story I’m telling is about how I compartmentalize things. This boyfriend had been awful one weekend and we broke up (one of many break-ups). I had to go teach for my student teaching the next day. I’d prepared and I was ready but my nerves were shot and I was exhausted from our fight.  I remember driving out to the school to teach the lesson. Somehow, I let go of all those emotions. I stood in front of the kids and taught an awesome lesson.  For that moment nothing else mattered. I was able to just focus on the task at hand. That was vital to my success.  I find that I do the same thing when faced with challenges to this day.

I stay in the present with a hope to the future.

That is what I do now.  I focus on the task at hand. I look at the kids. What do they need?  What is vital in the house that needs to be completed? I do that.  What needs to be done for the Young Women?  What needs to be done for my spiritual progression?  What do I need to do to stay sane? (I run or swim or chill with awesome friends.)  I don’t have time and can’t focus on what I lost.  That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt, but I can’t let that out all the time.  You can ask my friends if it comes out, because it does. It certainly does and they have heard the anguish and sorrow and gut wrenching pain in my voice and tears but I can’t do that all the time.  I have so much to do and so many people to help, especially four amazing little people.  Thus, I take this counsel,
“I hope we will not live in the past.
People who live in the past don’t have very much future.”
I have a future. It’s mine to make now and I hope God will help me make it amazing.
My entrance into grief came crashing into existence the day I found out my son’s heart was no longer beating and I would have to deliver his tiny body.  On October 21, 2014 I was plunged into another pool of grief when my husband, who had lived with depression for years, chose to take his own life. This leaves me at 38 to raise four amazing children ages 14, 11, 9 and 3 on my own.  We cope with anxiety and depression in various forms.  How do I go on? I know God loves me and that he has a plan for me. I know that while it is not okay today, it will be in the end.  I also believe firmly in living in today.  After all, today is the day I’m living so I might as well enjoy its glorious chaos.  

  Check out Melinda Mack’s blog at Doing

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