Monday, April 1, 2013


"...for behold,now is the time and the day of your salvation..." (Alma 34:31)

When I was younger, I once read a story from a book of Eastern European folk stories.

A young student once complained about the difficulties that naturally accompany life. An old lady appeared and gave him a ball of yarn, telling him that if he ever wanted to skip the more tedious parts of his life, all he had to do was cut the yarn and time would pass by in an instant. Bored with school, he cut the yarn and found himself done with his studies. When he was called into the army, he cut the yarn and found himself back at home; when his kids were giving him problems, he cut the yarn and found them grown; when his marriage was suffering, he cut the yarn and found the problems resolved. He used the yarn so much that he quickly arrived at the end of his life. However, he found only a sense of emptiness in his waning years. He hadn't really served his country, he hadn't seen his kids grow up, and he hadn't really cultivated his relationship with his wife. He had just skated by with his yarn, never being challenged and never really developing. In short, he hadn't really lived.

How often do we have trouble living in the now?
How often do we say to ourselves, "Oh, I just have to make it through this semester/meeting/problem/job and then I'll be happy. And then I can do all those things I've always wanted to do."?
How often do we "cut our yarn" by living in moments past or yearning for the proverbial greener grass on other side?
How often to do we stop to embrace our opportunities for good, service, and love that are always around us no matter the circumstances?
How often do we stop and simply enjoy the feeling of being alive and knowing that we are children of God?

Fortunately, I think the old woman came back just before he died and allowed the boy to go back through and live his life again. Or something like that. It seemed to have a happy ending. Unfortunately for us, we don't have the opportunity to go back and relive our lives if we're unsatisfied. There is no return policy for the inimitable gift that God has given us.

But fortunately (for me, at least), we can't skip any parts of it. And for that I am grateful.

1 comment:

  1. that's certainly a good perspective to have. I could use a bit of that perspective right about now.