Friday, December 6, 2013

Rely on Christ

Today was one of those days that frustrates you like none other. Nothing seemed to be going right, and I was ultimately grumpy. But not at first. Oh no, I actually started out the day pretty happy. I got up early and read my scriptures and went to the temple and then headed off to school. My first period class was seminary, a church-related class that requires early-morning attendance, or in some places release time, to attend. I really love seminary, and that put me in a really good mood. Then I went to choir, where I played the song I was accompanying for the choir concert. I was feeling really good.

Then I went to math. Math is one of those classes that I actually, surprisingly, love. Yes, I admittedly do like school, depending on the day. You can find me saying that I hate school and wish I were home in bed, but the only true part about that is the "I wish I were home in bed" bit. In all reality, school isn't a bad thing. It's just these crummy days that make me declare that I "hate" it.

Math has always been a decent class for me, because I really just get the subject. It connects in my mind really well, and I can understand it quickly. And my math teacher can be very entertaining, which makes the class that much better. Today, however, was not a fun time in class. A phone went off in class accidentally, and the teacher wanted the person to turn in their phone. However, my teacher didn't know who's phone it was, and nobody came forward with it. So my teacher said that until the person would surrender their phone, he wouldn't teach us anything. Long story short, we sat there for the majority of the class period doing nothing, until he gave in on behalf of a student who came forward and offered to give him her phone, even though it wasn't the one that went off.

But by that point, I was really ticked off. I had just wasted all but the last ten minutes of the class period, having done nothing at all but attempt to decipher the notes our teacher had handed out to us. I've never learned well just by reading instructions, especially when they are written with the proper mathematical vocabulary. I am a person who learns very well when I can hear what they instructions are, and see them being shown at the same time. To not have my teacher explain them to us was highly frustrating. I will say that I wasn't quite sure who to be mad at: the teacher, or the student who wouldn't turn in their phone. But whoever I was mad at, I was mad.

I remember thinking that I shouldn't be upset. I should calm down and just move on, and I should do something about the situation. The problem was, I didn't know what to do. And the more I just sat there, the more I started to push aside those optimistic thoughts and focus on the pessimistic ones.
When the girl went up to my teacher and offered to turn in her own phone for the sake of learning the material we would be quizzed on next class period, my teacher gave in and decided he would teach us the math because she was willing to take the blame for something she hadn't done.

I didn't have my phone with me, so I didn't think I could go up and do that. But as for that, she hadn't had her phone with her, either. She had offered to walk to her locker, get her phone, and bring it back so that we could continue on with the lesson. I was bugged, because I had thought to do the same thing, only I hadn't.
After that, I was in a decidedly bad mood. And because of that, my day seemed to just fall apart. I was moody. I got pushed down in the hall and landed on a girl with a wheelchair. Normally, I would have just brushed that aside after a bit, but today it stuck with me. I couldn't carry a conversation with my friends. I was letting the resent I'd felt in math class boil up inside of me, and that was turning me into an irritable person.

I feel really bad about that. There was so much more I could have done today, what with it being a Friday. I could have been kinder and spent time with my friends doing homework. I could have smiled and laughed with them at lunch. I could have been a force for good. But instead, I made the wrong choice an allowed my bitter thoughts to eat at me. I regret that a lot. Because of that, I spent my after-school hours curled up on a beanbag, watching a movie, being anti-social. Now I've thought about my day and the choices I've made, and there is one thing I can say for certain:

Tomorrow I will be better.

What that girl in my math class did today was a lot like what the Savior, Jesus Christ, did for all of us. She offered to take the blame for what someone else had done so that we could continue on and learn. Christ atoned for our sins, our shortcomings, our every mistake. He was perfect, and he took upon himself every sin that he had never committed for our sakes so that we could repent and return to live with God again. That atonement is a gift. And gifts are meant to be used.

I am so thankful for the atonement. I know I've said it before, but I am! I am, because it is the greatest gift that could ever be given. It is the way that we can all be forgiven and eventually be made perfect. We are all human, and we all make mistakes, but because of Christ's love and willingness to atone for us, we can overcome our pasts and enter into an ever-brighter future. I am now not frustrated at my math class for what happened, or for the rest of my day not going the way I wanted it to, but I'm frustrated at myself for not doing anything about it. However, I know that I can take away that frustration and start afresh through the atonement of Christ.

I love God with all my heart, and I love Jesus Christ, and I love this gospel. I am so thankful for it, and I use it every day in my life. Without it, I would be impossibly lost. It is the rock that keeps me standing. I know that the gospel is true, and that God has a plan for all of us. I know that I am loved more than I can know. And I know that by the power of the atonement our burdens can be made light, and we can repent.

"Try a little harder, to be a little better." ~Gordon B. Hinkley

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