Sunday, July 18, 2010

Progress or Perish

Ever since they told me to stay on in my "internship" (which is feeling like a real job, only I don't get paid as much), I've felt this ever-increasing sense of stagnation in my life. That is, I don't feel like I'm progressing.

It may have something to do with my current lack of a calling. It may be that I'm simply not challenged at work; although I doubt that, as my current assignment seems to be pulling me in so many different directions, that I long for the simple days of "go to a game, report the score, let the stories come to you" of sports writing.

I'm reminded of the spawning period of the salmon. Forced to leave its home for the pool of its birth, the salmon swims upstream for miles, simply to quickly deposit a few eggs, and make the return journey home.  It may seem like a simple journey, and one that could be avoided entirely by laying the eggs in easier, nearby waters. But millions of salmon do it every year, and without this time-honored practice, the world's fish population would drop dramatically.

So it is for us, at times. We work towards a purpose, only to find that said purpose seems irrelevant or small when compared to the greater sphere. Perhaps it is saving money for retirement only to realize our boredom once we've taken our sixth cruise, or served our fourth mission. Maybe it's working diligently to cover your entire home teaching route, only to have to do it again two days after the final visit. Or maybe it's devoting your time, energy and love to a certain member of the opposite sex, only to find that love goes unrequited, unwarranted and therefore, undeserved. 

But the beauty of life isn't in the destination; it's all about the journey. Indeed, life was never meant to be a single location, but a pathway on which we all find ourselves, struggling and striving to find our way home. 

And as we struggle, we find ourselves like the salmon: if we fail to move further, we find ourselves moving backward, even at a much faster rate than when we started swimming. 

There is no stagnation; only progress. Progress or Perish: if you aren't moving forward, you're falling behind.


Most of you might remember my earlier post on President Uchtdorf's YSA Fireside. (And if you don't, Google "Uchtdorf YSA Fireside;" it's the first link). Well, as it turns out, that was the basis of this week's Mormon Messages video. So here it is, linked again on the pages of this blog.

Remember who you are; the Ugly Duckling always grows into a Swan.