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Are you sleepwalking through life?

Are you sleepwalking through life?
I remember years ago, when one of our daughters came into the living room late one evening, it was clear that she was sleepwalking, and had little control over her actions. We guided her safely back to her bed and tucked her in. Although funny at the time, sleepwalking can have serious consequences.
Sleepwalking – “the act or state of walking, eating, or performing other motor acts while asleep, of which one is unaware upon awakening.”
Are you a little bit sleepy?
If you are truly unaware of who you are, or asleep to what you truly want, or have little purpose or direction in your daily routines, then respectively, may I suggest that you may be sleepwalking through your life.
– Are you fed up with the same daily routines, like being on autopilot?
– Or perhaps feeling constantly overwhelmed?
– You may have regular negative feelings about yourself?
– Your emotional state may have regular extreme swings from happy to sad.
– Do you have a lot of conflict or drama in your life?
In my life, I have found that oftentimes the best answers come when I start to slow down and wake myself up. A guide on the side, someone who can help you along your way, can really help.
Just like we helped our daughter safely back to bed, a coach can help you too.
Sleeping is a natural state, but eventually, awakening is a natural process. Sooner or later, anything that sleeps will awaken.
The Apostle Paul writing in the New Testament book of Ephesians 5:14 states; “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”
I believe that Christ has given me light in my life.
It is time to awaken from what is asleep in your own life?
It is easy to fall back asleep.
However, the real winners in life, are the ones who evaluate their situation, awake from their sleepwalking and deep slumber, make a decision, then act and are not acted upon.
What ways have you found to awaken yourself to what matters most in life?

Learning – Lighting the way ahead.

I love to learn.
The older I become, the more I enjoy the words of thoughtful writers both ancient and modern.
The more we learn, the more we are in a position to learn.
Gordon B. Hinckley stated “The learning process is endless. We must read, we must observe, we must assimilate, and we must ponder that to which we expose our minds. I believe in the evolution of the mind, the heart and the soul of humanity. I believe in improvement. I believe in growth. There is nothing quite as invigorating as being able to evaluate and then solve a difficult problem, to grapple with something that seems almost unsolvable and then find a resolution.”
I am so grateful to friends, colleagues and associates who motivate and inspire us to reach higher and do better.
As a teenager, I recall cycling in the early morning delivering newspapers and at night too, with the dynamo on my front wheel, lighting the way ahead. The faster I went the brighter the light, the slower I went, the light became dimmer.
So, it is with our minds.
Through ongoing personal development, we can keep the light of our personality and character shining ever brighter by reading good literature, then through our study, apply and action the learning into our lives.
How does learning, light the way ahead for you?

Like flame unquenchable – passing the torch

“What do you see in this image?” I asked in the online mission conference yesterday.
I invited all in attendance to take a long look at the image, and to carefully consider the thoughts that arose in their mind.
A few moments before, all 9 of our departing missionaries returning home in 7 days time, shared their final testimonies, one by one, with their peers in the mission field.
Throughout that intimate hour, the feelings of each of their hearts were intertwined with our hearts, being knit together in love, respect and admiration. There was a feeling of connection, togetherness and unity for a few special moments of time.
Deep and meaningful emotional connections come quite unexpectedly at times. When they do, don’t be afraid to welcome them, gently explore them, embrace them and cherish them….forever.
Each missionary has served faithfully, diligently and given their all throughout their service of 18 or 24 months and some a little longer. It is not easy to be a missionary!
In preparation for that moment, I hunted that morning for a picture that would capture the feelings of my heart, as I expressed my love for them one by one. I found this image below.

The Imagery…

In my mind, the image depicts two Olympic champions.
The one on the right is more senior, older, more experienced, wiser, a winner, looking a little wrinkled and perhaps just a little tired.
The one on the left, is younger, a little inexperienced, ready to learn, ambitious, fresh and keen to pick up the torch of the older Olympian.
All of our missionaries have the capability to be champions of whatever it is they choose to pursue. But in that moment, I saw something very special.
The 9 returning missionaries, were just like the older Olympian on the right, having given their all, their flame of Gospel testimony burning brightly, filled with warmth, light and hope.
They were in turn passing the flame of their individual torches, as a beacon to the world if you will, to the new up and coming generation of missionaries already infield and those arriving next week.
Poised to move forward, these younger missionaries primed with their torches are prepared and ready to carry the flame of the Gospel ever faster, higher, stronger and together, emulating the journey of those who went before. Indeed they will be standing on the shoulders of giants.
Many years ago, Brigham Young said… “Let the fire of the covenant which you made in the House of the Lord, burn in your hearts, like flame unquenchable.” Without question, I am a personal witness of covenants burning like an unquenchable fire in each of these missionaries hearts.
As the torch passes from one generation to another, that fire and flame will continue to burn and shine, bringing light to an ever darkening world.
During this Christmas season as we remember our Saviour Jesus Christ, He is the light of the world, whose flame burns brightly in each of our missionaries hearts, wherever they serve around the world. Invite them into your homes, their message is sweet, beautiful and will alight a flame of hope in your life forevermore. Please consider the special gift they carry with them.

Light the World

“Big bobbles at the bottom and small ones at the top” said Cristi, as she outlined her strategy for the Christmas tree.
That was part of our conversation as we enjoyed some catch up time with Kyle & Cristi at home in Scotland last night on our weekly video call.
Many years of observation, listening and practice with mum had taught her well. Both Monic and Cristi have been busy the last few days, with a regular tradition of decorating the Christmas tree.
Already Christmas decorations seem to be everywhere. It is of course a huge part of celebrating the season.
Yesterday, Monic put lights on the tree and was busy creating a number of beautiful candle decorations around our home. Sitting in the living room this morning, there is a beautiful menagerie of her creative talents on show and under construction on the dinner table. How grateful I am for her thoughtfulness and desire to light our life with these wondrous symbols, reminding us of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Light

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught: “Many of our memorable and enduring Christmas traditions include different kinds of lights—lights on trees, lights in and on our homes, candles on our tables. May the beautiful lights of every holiday season remind us of Him who is the source of all light.”
Indeed, light is one of the most beautiful symbols of the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. In fact one of His many names and titles is “Light of the World.” He taught, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Christmas candles and lights can remind us that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. They can also remind us to be lights to others and to help others come unto Christ. The celebrations of Christmas can help us to remember Him.
I am especially looking forward to having our family time this Christmas season with our children, as each of them are shining lights to me.
I hope that as we start to count down the days to Christmas, each of us will remember the light that Jesus Christ brings into your life and choose to lighten someone else’s life through a kind act of loving service.

From Dark to Light

Are you fumbling around in the darkness?
The storms of life, dark, difficult moments, trials, tribulations, sickness, loneliness, resentment, fears can overwhelm us and we may fall into despair.
Arising early this morning, it was dark, very dark.
Autumn is here.
The thick early morning darkness of the season is upon us.
Carefully in the darkness, I cautiously moved forward into the vast darkness of the bedroom. As I placed one foot in front of the other, I became acutely aware of my tiny steps, wary of any obstacles in the way.
Moving forward apprehensively, I slowly, gingerly stretched out my arms, feeling, touching, sensing in the denseness of that dark moment, in which direction to move onward, towards my objective.
My pace was deliberate and measured.
After a few seconds, my goal was achieved.
Clutching my dressing gown and slippers, I turned around and once more faced another dark period of retracing some of my steps and out of the bedroom, into the hallway, down a flight of stairs and finally arriving in the living room.

Turn the Light On

I then chose to turn the darkness off, by turning the light on.
Figuratively, many of us may be in a similar space, right now, right at this moment in time.
Searching, seeking, inquiring, exploring for a new direction and answers, yet feel surrounded by gloomy darkness, filling our thoughts and actions.
This is a time for faith, not for fear.
Throughout life, I have learned that when the night is dark, when thick gloominess surrounds us, each of us have an opportunity to move forward by exercising our faith in Jesus Christ.
He is the light.
He is the light of the world.
Little by little, step by step by putting our hand in the Lord’s hand and relying upon Him, will help each of us through, even the darkest of nights.
Doing so will strengthen our faith and answers will come.
Choose to turn the darkness off.
Please choose to turn His light on.