Thursday, December 13, 2012

Of Regrets and Resolutions

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Of Regrets and Resolutions, by Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

When I read the title of this talk, a recent regret came to mind. We had a Christmas party a couple of weeks ago. Because our youngest was ill, my wife wasn't with me. The older children and I ended up leaving the party early because it was going later than anticipated, and in doing so, we forfeited the cheesecake that was planned for dessert.

Yes, my biggest regret of the past few weeks is not eating a piece of cheesecake.

Coincidentally, this regret should be something I champion as a success because I'm always flirting with unhealthy eating and weight gain. In fact, I have a blog post from two years ago where I committed to lose weight and track my progress (link). You'll notice that the numbers are my weight below that resolution point, and that I still keep track. You'll also likely note how much the line jumps up and down!

Now do you understand hw cheesecake relates to my personal regret and success?

I'm sure I could force President Uchtdorf's message into one about healthy eating, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight, but I'm sure I would regret it. (See what I did there!) Instead, I'll do a summary of his message, include the bits that stood out to me, and conclude with a lame joke.

The key to this message, for me, was this quote:

The foundational principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ can affect our life’s direction for good, if only we will apply them.

The following are three common regrets people approaching death relate:

I Wish I Had Spent More Time with the People I Love

Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished.
I can’t see it. . .

Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them, doing things together, and cultivating treasured memories.

I Wish I Had Lived Up to My Potential

When it comes to living the gospel, we should not be like the boy who dipped his toe in the water and then claimed he went swimming. As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we are capable of so much more. For that, good intentions are not enough. We must do. Even more important, we must become what Heavenly Father wants us to be. . .

The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets.

I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier

Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey. I don’t go cycling with my wife because I’m excited about finishing. I go because the experience of being with her is sweet and enjoyable. . .

No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.

My one-sentence summary of this message is: Spend more time happy time as a family, being who God wants you to be.

Returning to the scene of my recent regret—the Christmas party: I had a good time with my three oldest children, and I even helped all the children put on a special Christmas program. Three birds, one party (or stone). NOTE: no birds were harmed at the party; the meat was cooked beforehand.

Seeing the party through the lens of President Uchtdorf's talk helps lessen the regret of missed cheesecake opportunity. Now I just need to convince my wife that we should have cheesecake this weekend to celebrate our anniversary—the birthday of our family! (We have a history with cake, link.) We can eat it together (time with loved ones), I'll happily make it myself (God-like service?), and we'll be happy when we eat it (resolve to be happy)!

Besides, I don't think my weight-tracking graph will mind a little upward spike from regret-free cheesecake.

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