by Kari Diane Pike
If this were an infomercial, I would tell you all about an amazing product that has changed my life and how you can experience similar amazing results by sending me lots of money so I can tell you how I did it. Then I would tell you that all you have to do is send the same message to a million other people and have them send you lots of money and your problems will be solved. Except, the next infomercial will tell you about a different product that is ten times better than the one before. Forget what the first expert said. Times change. Just send in lots of money and we will tell you how to tell other people so that they will send you lots of money. Problem solved!
Bishop Richard C. Edgley recently spoke about the constant bombardment of confusing messages we experience in the world today and the fact that while this may be the reality of our world, "we can still choose how we react to it."
I used to think how wonderful and simple it would be to just wake up every morning to find a little note on my pillow from Heavenly Father outlining the things he wanted me to do that day. I would do those things, and every thing would be heavenly. Then the realization hit me. That was what Satan wanted to do. He wanted to tell us what to do and leave no room for choice. Without choice there would be no growth or learning. There would be no progression and true understanding of right and wrong. We would be lost forever.
A few weeks ago, I made some changes in the way I treat my body. I chose to eat to live, rather live to eat. I walked away from fad diets and expensive diet aids and returned to basic, whole foods. I studied the Word of Wisdom. I prayed. I chose to do this because I wanted to change the way I felt physically. I was tired of feeling ill all the time and the pain was great enough to motivate me to change. I had no idea how much this would help me gain spiritual and emotional strength as well. I have come to a much greater understanding of the connection between our spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual selves. In just 18 days I feel better physically, I think more clearly, I am more sensitive to promptings of the Spirit, and I feel joyful!
If someone had tried to force me to walk away from sugar and cheese puffs and (I really hate to say this on a writer's blog, since this is one of a writer's major food groups) yes, chocolate, I would have laughed in their face. Or at least behind their back. I would not have learned anything. I would have continued in my old ways, or, if I had done it under duress, I would be so emotionally bonkers, I would negate any benefits whatsoever. Did any of that make any sense? (other than the fact that my punctuation is horrendous?)
Exercising our faith and choosing balance gives us the strength to carry on through adversity with peace of mind. Balance allows us to find joy in the journey. Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize that you are right where the Lord needs you to be, doing right what the Lord needs you to be doing at that moment? How would you describe that feeling? And just think. It didn't even cost you a penny.