Friday, May 3, 2013

Thinking On Purpose

Time Out For Women has been doing monthly challenges this year and in February it was Mary Ellen Edmunds' turn to challenge women to "Think on Purpose". You can find that article here.

I love MEE and I loved the idea of trying to take on the challenge, but I wondered how I'd do it when most of the time my thoughts are caused to be focused on tiny people and interruption after interruption after interruption. Finishing a thought isn't really something my brain is even very good at anymore.


It feels as if the stars aligned the other day, giving me some extra quiet moments that allowed me to take MEE up on her challenge to “Think On Purpose”.

On a recent Saturday, I had volunteered to take my daughter’s Science Team (they call themselves the “Ninjas”) to their Quiz Bowl in a neighboring town. It was about a 30-minute drive to and from their destination, and the drive over was full of cheery 12 and 13 year olds, chattering about all that is important to those of that age. I tried hard to be invisible and just listen. I loved much of what I heard.

Separately, I had volunteered to take another daughter’s Honor Band members to their rehearsal, in the same neighboring town. As luck would have it, these separate acts of volunteering ended up being for events on the same day! Now it would be FOUR round-trips, 30-minutes each way. Five if you wanted to include the trip back for the band concert we would attend that evening.

The band members’ conversation was as entertaining, on a cooler, 14-17 year old level. Again though, I worked hard to be invisible and so much of what I heard was adorable. I do love being with kids this age!

It was on one of the return all-alone-in-my-12-passenger-van trips that I took Sister Edmunds up on her challenge.
I had been reading Sister Olson’s TOFW book, “Too Much To Carry Alone”, and had nearly finished when MEE’s challenge came along. Sister Olsen talks about meekness in her book; how the Savior is our perfect example of this quality and yet it isn’t something you hear about people listing meekness as a trait they desire to obtain. However, meekness has a valuable promise given to us by the Savior: that the meek will inherit the earth.  Because of this promise and as it's a quality the Savior exemplified, we really should be looking to add more meekness to our lives.

So here was where I began to Think On Purpose. Sister Olsen did a great job of defining meekness, but my thoughts led me to wonder how is it that I (or anyone) could be more meek?

I felt what is so often described as “pure intelligence” flow through me and I was careful to listen so I could jot down the impressions at the next stop light. I felt impressed that meekness is not weakness, though the world would define it that way. Meekness is a quiet kind of strength, like Jesus had.

My question, ‘How do you “achieve” meekness?’ was met with the quick answer: “you don’t”. Instead, meekness is a by-product of other behaviors: gentleness, kindness, a quiet voice; by following the Savior’s example.

It was just a few minutes and the impressions were simple ones, but what I felt was powerful and I was reminded again that Heavenly Father is always listening. I know that the more we choose to put ourselves in circumstances that allow the Lord to speak - like Thinking On Purpose – the more we will hear His voice. And with those experiences will come added strength and surety as we build our testimony and deepen our conversion.

What a blessing MEE is, and what a blessing the challenge to Think On Purpose has been for me.

What would happen if you took a few minutes to Think On Purpose?


No comments: