Lessons From A Dream

So I had a really interesting dream a few nights ago. I dreamt I was in an airport with my family, ending my mission. In the dream itself, I woke up the next morning, not a missionary, and had a great time hanging out with people. I honestly can’t remember who the people were, but I remember it was really sweet. It was just such an amazing feeling, the fact that I had accomplished my mission and was now beginning the next great chapter in my life.

Then I woke up. My sight met darkness, and after a brief moment of confusion I realized I was back in my bed in Montana. I’ll admit I felt a little frustrated when I also realized I still had six months left to go on my mission. It was a strange experience, mostly because it was the first time I had a dream specifically about finishing my mission. I remained in my frustration for most of the morning, wondering why in the world I would be given such an experience. I already have enough difficulty trying to keep my mind focused throughout the day. The last thing I needed was a dream about going home!

All these thoughts vanished away, however, as I realized that perhaps the Lord was trying to teach me something with this dream. These are some things that I’ve gathered from my thoughts.

1. The end doesn’t come easy.

Life is a journey, and the destination doesn’t usually arrive in an instant. If we want to get somewhere, we need to do some enduring and exercise some patience. From point A to point B there may be some distance. In my case, it’s six months. So be patient and enjoy the journey.

2. Prepare for the end, the time between really isn’t that much.

My second thought was, “Holy buckets! Six months? That’s nothing!” It really isn’t. One and a half years flew by like nobody’s business, six months definitely won’t take very long. I only have six months left to learn all I can learn as a full-time missionary. I only have six months left to share the gospel with as many people as I can. I think my dream was a good reminder to me that my time is short and I need to use it wisely. Am I always able to do that? Certainly not. I’m not great at managing my minutes. Wasting time was pretty much a hobby of mine before my mission. Anyone who knows me very well can second that. But I’m trying to do better and learn from my mistakes.

So basically I did a 180 and became rather grateful for the dream. The Lord knows what I need, so… I probably needed it. Don’t let a minute pass you by. Make the most of your time, and when you screw up, seek counsel and forgiveness from the Lord and then move on with your life. And don’t think so much about your destinations that you miss out on the experiences the journeys can give you.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4)

 

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Time Is Short… Welcome to Narnia

In the book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, part of the book series known as the Chronicles of Narnia, four siblings discover the world known as Narnia while stumbling through a portal in a wardrobe. While there in Narnia, they find out the White Witch is in control, and the fantasy world is stuck in a constant winter. The children embark on an adventure that eventually destroys the White Witch, saving Narnia and bringing spring to the world. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are crowned as kings and queens and remain in Narnia for a long time, until they’re adults.

On a hunt for the White Stag, the four siblings accidentally come across the same portal they had originally entered and return to the ‘real’ world. Citing the movie, they fall out of the wardrobe, again as children, and find the owner of the house, Professor Kirke, in the room as well. We soon discover that their many years spent in the world of Narnia were only a couple minutes back in their world.

We are in our own Narnia. We existed before this life with our Father in Heaven and made the decision to come down to this earth and be tested, but we are here for only a short time. It may seem like a long time to us, but only because our perspective is limited. Our Heavenly Father has an eternal perspective. To Him, we are away for only a couple hours. We must make the most of what time we have. It is short, but it is the most important time among our entire eternal existence.

Time is a Gift

The current prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson, once said,

Time is a gift, a treasure not to be put aside for the future but to be used wisely in the present.

So often in life we put off the things that matter most in order to accomplish our temporary goals. We think we’re doing ourselves or others a favor, but in reality we’re robbing ourselves and those we love of precious time. As important as work, school, and other such things are, what is of most importance and the highest value to us is our relationships. Our relationship with God, with Christ, and with our family and friends.

So many of us look back and wish we had spent even just a little less time with our ambitions and more time enjoying the simple things with the ones we love. One less hour at work and one more dinner at home. One less day away and one more afternoon hike. Etc. Etc. No one really looks back and wishes, “If only we could’ve had that vacation!” More often it’s the little things, the minutes or the moments that could’ve left an eternal imprint upon our hearts.

The things we can do are simple: pray together as a family more often, always attend church together, read the word of God together, have more dinners as a family, especially at home, take an evening out of each week and dedicate it to family time, and so on. It’s these simple things we do that add up to a lifetime of fond memories.

Use time wisely, it is a gift. Perhaps that is why it is called the present.