Living with intention vs. avoidance

In the LDS church we all have volunteer positions. We call them callings. Not calling, like a calling in life but calling in a sense of our volunteer job in the church. My calling is being a Gospel Doctrine Teacher.

We go to church for 3 hours (woof I know but I love it) and once a month I teach a lesson during one of those hours. The topic is given but you can ultimately take the lesson whatever way you want to. My lessons tend to turn into more of a discussion with lots of stories shared rather than me "teaching" something. Who am I to teach anything? Nobody, that's the truth. That's the beauty about the church I go to, no one is qualified to do anything because every calling is a volunteer position. Even though we might not have the skills, we all put in our best effort and there is always something to learn.


This week we talked about the idea of pursuing growth instead of living in complacency. The main topic was called "Standing in Holy Places." For us religious folk, this ultimately means putting yourself in a position to only receive goodness. To make good decisions and eliminate any negative influences that would hold you back. Sure this is spiritually based but I think this casts a WAY bigger net beyond spiritual talk. The question we should be asking ourselves:


Are we putting ourselves in a position to grow or in a position stay stagnant?

It's interesting because no matter where anyone is in life, this is a common feeling. Are we going through the motions of life because it is easier that way? Or are we actually living to our full potential and pursing growth? There's a line we use in the LDS church, "are we fulfilling the measure of our creation?" I think we were all made to do amazing things but are we actually doing them?


I think it is easy to avoid negative things in life but does avoidance equal growth? I think no.


I don't think it's enough to just AVOID things in life, I believe in the pursuit. We can't just avoid things and expect to end up where we want to be, we need to strive and grow to be the person we envision. It reminds of #sportz:


"Are you playing not to lose or are you playing to win?"


You might get the same outcome for a game but answering that question could change your whole season.


Or it's like eating healthy:


"Are you avoiding dairy and sugar or are you eating plant based?"


It's under the same label as eating vegan but what is actually better for you? One intention fills you with chips and salsa and the other is full of veggies, so you tell me.


Same with your spiritual self:


"Are you going to church because your inner circle goes or are you going because there is no where else you want to be?"


Both qualify under "going to church" but which one is actually a waste of your time? Doing things JUST to do them is lame, I think living with intention is where the money is actually at.

So I ask, what are things in our lives that take away from us pursuing the 2.0 version of ourselves? Where is our time better spent?


When you wake up, what's the first thing you do? Check Instagram or meditate? Do you live with gratitude? Do you understand that the fact you have the ability to read this makes you one of the luckiest people in the world? How many people in this world don't have electricity, yet alone a computer and even WIFI? Here we are scrolling on Asos or Backcountry trying to find our next deal, how many people in this world would love to even afford a deal?


It doesn't matter what you believe in religiously, I think this idea of "Standing in Holy Places" goes beyond the religious motif. We can all get on board with the idea of progression and growth.


The lesson ended up being an awesome discussion. One of my favorite points made was from my friend Kyler. He mentioned how his sister is not active in our church but yet is always seeking spiritual growth. I love it. We need more seekers. Mormon, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist....I don't care, come one come all we need more humans asking questions.


Usually I end my lessons with a challenge, this was it:


Pick apart your week and identify the things that get in the way of you being better. Those things may or may not include:

  • Social media

  • Tv

  • Being around sucky people

  • Complacent mindset

  • Not getting enough sleep

  • Stubbornness

Living with intention is not about placing yourself somewhere physically. It has nothing to with your job, or a group of friends, or going to the gym you like...it's a mindset.


I'm going to tie this in to Christ because I think he's the best but he is also the idea of perfection. Your idea of perfection could be Allah, or Buddha, of Shiva, or even just your mom. So imagine that perfect person that you look up to, I think they live with intention and not avoidance. I think they are always in the pursuit of growth and helping others. They don't let their h8rz get in the way of living a higher law. So if you look up to them, why not try and be a little more intentional in trying to be like them?


My friend tore her ACL once. The physical therapist told her "2 weeks on the front end saves 2 months on the backend." Meaning: if she started physical therapy before her surgery, it would help her recover way faster afterwards. Take a quiet moment and really identify the things that take up too much of your life. 20 minutes now could save you months of growing pains in the future.




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