7.21.2014

Look Up!

image from diligentagroup.com
My yoga instructor recently enlightened the class by telling us that when you look up, you feel happier.  There's something in our nervous system that clicks on when we look up. I can testify of my own joy when I look up into the skies.  I thought it was just my awe for God's creations, but apparently there's more to it!

As I thought of this (during my yoga session), I was reminded of a talk a few years back.  Elder Carl B. Cook shared a story of being completely overwhelmed with his new calling as a General Authority.  Dwelling on this burden with his head down, he descended the church office building in an elevator when another individual entered.  He soon heard the familiar voice of President Monson say, "It is better to look up."

Elder Cook says of that moment, "Since then I have pondered this experience and the role of prophets.  I was burdened and my head was down.  As the prophet spoke, I looked to him.  He redirected my focus to look up to God, where I could be healed and strengthened through Christ's Atonement."

How many times do we look to ourselves for the solutions, thinking we can do it all ourselves?  Or what about the number of times we look to the side, expecting others to give us answers or join our plight?  Why is it that we forget or choose not to look up?  It is so easy to see what is right in front of us.  It is easy to believe in the tangible.  And so we do.  We look to what we can physically see, touch, feel, and understand.

And yet, ironically, Moses experienced that for the children of Israel, looking up was too easy.  The serpent was tangible and visible and touchable, but the Israelites would not believe what was right in front of them.

Grasping onto the Atonement can be similar.  Though it is not visible and tangible, it is right in front of us...and it's almost too easy to believe.  "What?  I just need to lay my burdens at His feet? No way.  There's got to be something (bigger, harder, better) than that!"  And so we search and grab any and all other, more visible solutions.  But to no avail.

Elder Cook continues, "Experience has taught me that if we...exercise our faith and look to God for help, we will not be overwhelmed with the burdens of life.  We will not feel incapable of doing what we are called to do or need to do.  We will be strengthened, and our lives will be filled with peace and joy.  We will come to realize that most of what we worry about is not of eternal significance - and if it is, the Lord will help us.  But we must have the faith to look up and the courage to follow His direction."

If we truly want those happy endorphines to be released, maybe we should practice looking up more...literally and spiritually.  It's easier than it seems!  Just ask Him to show you how.  :-)

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