Decisions determine destiny

Are we where we want to be today? Do we feel a purpose in our lives? Are we satisfied and happy where we are? Is there something missing? Is it too late to find whatever it is?
These are questions that most of us have asked ourselves at some point (or several points) in our lives. I know I did.
Our lives are set up from the beginning to look to the future. From the time we were born, there was always that next step. We rolled over, sat up, and began, crawling, walking and talking. Then we hurried to get our hands on everything as we explored our world. Our parents watched in awe, wonder and then in exasperation as we seemed to be everywhere at once. We were a force to be reckoned with! Watch us fly!
From our families and on to school. It was hard to enjoy the moments at times as we were always reaching that next milestone. And, this is something that has continued, sometimes quickly and sometimes a bit slower, but we are always moving. But, in what direction?
If your experience was different, such as times when you were unemployed and life seemed at a standstill, what did you do about it? Did you sit and wait for something to come to you? Did you get ‘out there’ and keep trudging away, honing your skills/education/experience to create more opportunities for yourself? Did you give up and decide that it wasn’t worth the effort to keep trying – that you were never going to achieve it anyway?
Guess what? We’ve all had most of those feelings. Yes, we live our lives preparing for the future, often missing enjoying the little moments and triumphs. First, it’s our education and resulting job/career, family and children. The next vacation, house, car or other vehicle claim our attention, time and money. Add retirement, children’s educations, perhaps some investments and wow! We’re all of a sudden at 50-ish. Now what? What do we have? What do we need? What do we want? What’s missing? What’s important?
So, let’s look to the future. But, for what? Why? What’s there when we “arrive?” Will we reach happiness and success by the time we get there? Will we have enough money? Will our children have good careers and happy lives of their own? Have we done what we wanted to do? What we needed to do? Have we met all of our obligations?
I’m right at this juncture. Did I think I’d be where I am today? No. But, then, I really didn’t know where that was and what I’d be doing anyway – as far as a career was concerned. Am I where I want to be? Not yet, but I’m moving in that direction. And now I’m enjoying the journey. I can enjoy today, because I know there is a tomorrow.
The more we know about life and its meaning, and our relationship to it, the more purpose we feel, the more guidance we recognize and the happier we are. We know where we’re going because we know where we came from. We know why we’re here, and that guides us in where we need to go in order to ‘prepare for the future.’ We feel confident and complete. Today has meaning because its choices and decisions help determine my tomorrow, and my family’s.
What do I mean? Well, I can only share what I know to be true. I’m talking about how this mortal life relates to our eternal lives. I’ve spent some years in studying, pondering and praying to develop my testimony. I wanted to know what purpose life had and why I was here.
I came to understand that life is just an existence without feeling there is a spiritual purpose, meaning and direction. I knew we didn’t just appear here on the earth. I knew that we were created by a loving Father in Heaven. I knew that Jesus came to earth, established His church and teachings here and gave us a perfect example of how to live. He willingly suffered the pain of our sins and sweat great drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane praying to His Father (and ours) on our behalf. He allowed himself to be crucified on the cross that we might have a Savior and a way to return to live with our Heavenly Father.
When I ponder this, I am humbled by the Savior’s love. Imagine. He loved me so much that He was willing to suffer in my behalf and offer Himself as an intercessory providing most of my return passage to Heavenly Father. (I’m accountable for my own actions.) If He hadn’t done that, there is no way I could’ve repented enough, prayed enough or tried to turn my life around enough to make things right.
The answers didn’t just come to me without my own willingness to look for them. One of my favorite scriptures is in Matt. 7: 7-8. “Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” I testify that is true. It’s happened in my life, and still does when I’m willing and teachable.
I can testify that I know God lives. Jesus is His son and was resurrected. He lives, and stands on the right hand of the Father. They are two separate beings united in purpose. The Holy Ghost makes up the third member of the Godhead. We are not alone here, and we don’t need to feel that way. We can pray anytime and anywhere, and if we ‘listen’ with our spirits we can come to know what He wants for us.
Since this life is the time to prepare to meet God, I’d say it should take a priority in the things we choose to do and actions we make. We try to do better a day at a time. Just do the next right thing and they’ll be good decisions.

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