Monday, August 4, 2014

but what do I DO?

When I was 15, I was in an accident on a church youth trip.  I miraculously escaped practically unscathed, with just a few bruises and needing a few stitches in my elbow. After the accident, I was given a priesthood blessing  in which I was told that, were it not for the intervention of angels, I would have died in that accident.

In the year or so that followed, I often wondered why I had been saved.  Did I have a special purpose in life waiting for me?  What would I do that would be worth saving me for?  What was I doing now to show I was thankful for the gift of being alive?  It's been ten years since that day, and I still think about it often.  Whenever I make new friends, start something new, finish something, or give advice, I think about it.  I think about things I learn from those people and experiences, but mostly I think about the influence I have on those around me and try to make sure it's a positive one.  

I think a little about milestones I've reached, but I prefer focusing on people.  I don't think my life was spared so I could graduate from college; I think I'm here to establish good relationships with people.  When my students tell me how much they love me, I ask myself, "What would their Spanish education be like if I hadn't been here?"  I know they would've been fine, but I'm thankful for what I've been able to teach them.  I think of my husband, to whom I'm so happy to be married.  I think about my family and fun things we've done together in the last ten years.  I often think, "Maybe he / she / they / that experience was why I'm here."

I strongly believe this is something we all should do - often.  Think about why you're here.  Think about those you're interacting with.  What are you doing with your life?  Who are you supporting, teaching, loving?  Is your overall influence positive?  What are you doing - every single day - to show you're thankful for the gift of being alive?  

I like when that question pops into my head as I'm stuck in a time-wasting rut - whether with television, the Internet, or something else.  It reorients me.  

Are you stuck in a time-wasting rut?  How will you change your life so it means more?  What are you going to DO?

Focus on doing good.  Then when you look for positive influences you're having on the world, you will find them.


“It would be nice if you stopped jumping down Ron’s and my throats, Harry,
because if you haven’t noticed, we’re on your side.”
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Stefan said...

Wow, Ali. I had no idea. I'd never heard about this, but I am so grateful that you were spared. If for nothing else, you've been spared to bring a lot of light into your family's lives. And when I say family, I mean mine, too. You are a bright and shining example of the gospel in action, and I love you very much. I thank Heavenly Father for His intervention that day, as it's brought countless happy moments into my life.

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