Life isn’t all sunshine and bliss. Whatever life throws at us, the trick is to enjoy the ride.
In a world where advertisements and Instagram posts promote the idea that everyone around us is happy and we can be happy too if we just apply ourselves or buy a certain product, it can be hard to keep from wondering why we’re not happy all the time. Sometimes it’s easy to feel guilty about experiencing any emotion other than joy. In a gospel that proclaims peace and everlasting joy, are we doing something wrong if our lives aren’t always filled with bliss?
In a BYU devotional address entitled “God Shall Give unto You Knowledge by His Holy Spirit,” President Gordon B. Hinckley teaches that we must have faith that the Lord makes the impossible possible. President Hinckley shares several stories of miracles that came from faith—faith born from letting go of worries and trusting in the Lord.
In his address, President Hinckley shares words that he found in a newspaper column in which life is described as “an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke . . . interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” President Hinckley explains that the ability to enjoy the ride comes through faith in Jesus Christ—faith that the Lord makes the impossible possible.
President Hinckley’s counsel reminds me of an interview I had with my mission president. I had gone through a series of incredibly difficult transfers, had worked and prayed so hard for relief from my struggles, and now had three months left as a full-time missionary. As I poured my heart out to my mission president, I asked what I should do during my remaining three months. He smiled and told me to “enjoy the ride.” The advice didn’t make sense to me. How was I supposed to enjoy the ride when it was so hard and my heart was so broken? But with his words, I felt my heart lighten. It was simple, really. I needed to stop worrying about myself. Worrying about being good enough or being sad was preventing me from doing my best and enjoying my time as a missionary.
This maxim guided me through the rest of my mission and continues to guide me today. It helps me let go of what I can’t control and even laugh at my frustrations. Thinking of life like a train ride helps me realize that the rough times are just part of the journey, that they’re necessary, and that good times are ahead.
Read President Gordon B. Hinckley’s entire devotional address: “God Shall Give unto You Knowledge by His Holy Spirit.”
Source: BYU Speeches
—Brynne Jackson, Mormon Insights
feature image by josh nezon
Find more insights
Read Kiana Kekauoha’s Mormon Insights article “Your Journey toward Joy,” which discusses how understanding God and his plan for us can make it easier to navigate the decisions we face throughout our lives.
Read Elder M. Russell Ballard’s talk titled “Face the Future with Faith and Hope” to learn how to be more optimistic about the future, even with all the uncertainties of life.
Listen to the words of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin in the short video “Come What May, and Love It,” in which he discusses how to embrace life, with all its ups and downs.
Check out President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “Finding Joy in the Journey,” which discusses the concept of finding happiness throughout life.
This is some good counsel. Another thing I like about the train analogy is that even if there are delays or the view is dark, the train is still heading for its destination. I think that perspective helps gives us hope despite present challenges.