Here is a wonderful story, perfect to share on this day of Thanksgiving.
My ecclesiastical leader, Bishop Ron Thue, told of his experience as a young college student at Brigham Young University. He gave me permission to share it during a recent speaking engagement.
Years ago he was an engineering student on a foreign exchange scholarship. He had failed a test in an important class and was worried he might lose his scholarship and his dreams of a good education.
He was more than worried. The more he tried to have classmates explain the material, the more his frustration grew to panic. It seemed impossible for him to understand and grasp the concepts. He explained his plight to a good friend, another student, who had been assigned as his home teacher. (Home teachers are a part of a network set up in our church for monthly contact to share a gospel message and ensure a member's well-being).
His home teacher smiled at him and handed him a nickel. "Ron" he said, "put this nickel in your shoe and every time you feel it, say a prayer of gratitude. That's all. Just do it." Ron did as he was told and slipped the nickel in his shoe. As he walked across campus the next morning, he could feel the nickel and began to give thanks. He gave a lot of thanks. He had no idea how much he could find to be thankful for. The nickel was felt with every step. When he sat down in a class for a lecture, he forget about the nickel for a while. As soon as he stood up, he felt the nickel again and gave more thanks. This happened all day long.
At the end of the day, he walked into his professor's office. He told him, "You've got to help me. No one else can." He expressed how desperate he was to not fail his class. The professor took out a piece of paper and a pencil. He started to draw out an equation and explain the concept. My bishop said within three minutes, a light went on in his head, and his understanding was perfect. It was clear as a bell and made complete sense. He couldn't believe it had been so confusing only a day before.
He ended his talk by reminding us that we are commanded to give thanks in all things. A blessing from following this counsel is an enlightened mind. By choosing a grateful heart we are naturally enlightened by God's Spirit of Truth.
Today is the perfect opportunity to pause and ponder all the God given blessings in our lives. My family drove to Boise last night to share Thanksgiving with my parents. I'm so looking forward to our meal in about an hour! How important it is to adopt this focus daily.
What solutions are you looking for? What problems are you faced with that make you desperate for understanding? Replace desperation with gratitude and see where the Light takes you!