He died that we might live... today

Arise and sing to his great name,
Who died that we might live.
I’ve heard this phrase so many times that I don’t listen anymore, like hearing wind through the trees. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been astonished by the growth of my little boy and how “lively” he is becoming or because I read a sobering article today about a man’s last blog post before succumbing to cancer, but these words literally stopped my breath today while I listened to Rejoice! A Glorious Sound Is Heard in my drab little cubicle at work. It is not just referring to salvation from death and sin. It is talking about living, that thing that we’re doing everyday. Like right now. His death was part of a larger plan that certainly did not end at his death – but that was fulfilled because of his death. He died that we might live today, as well as in a future place beyond this mortal existence. He died that we be not dead to others, dead to ourselves, dead to the needs and wants of the neighborhood and community and world. That we might be infused with life through the Spirit, with vibrancy through the Light of the Son, with intellect and conscience and compassion instead of solely instinct and appetites and chemistry. That we might feel the sun on our skin and the taste the sweet fruit of the trees and see the rich colors of fall and hear the stream gurgling by. That we might love unconditionally and hate occasionally and experience the breadth and depth of emotions between. “That we might live” is not referring to the future but to this very moment, that we might experience the sensations of spirit and body in one coalescent being, from the bumps and grooves of the keys under our fingers to the enormity of thunderstorms and tsunamis and bad relationships. To live is to experience, defined as such in conversation and scripture, and this whole experience of living would never have been afforded to us without the willingness of One to plan it, create it, experience it, overcome it and eventually throw it all in the flames and raise it up again in a purified and perfect state. The beauty of the plan is that we don’t have to wait until that day of burning and rebirth to feel the power of life in our veins; He died that we might live today. That is the promise and blessing of the Gospel - that this life is the time to live and that heaven is already here. Being caught up in chariots of fire headed towards the sky will just be another day in the process of true living, if we but recognize and embrace the life in us today and the Source from whence it came.


We are losing our focus on Focus

 I just read an article in good ol' Mashable today about how multitasking is actually detrimental to our productivity - it's an illusion that we can do more than one thing simultaneously (in most cases).  According to the article, multitasking is only possible when two conditions are met:

First, one of the tasks has to be so ingrained that no focus is necessary, and secondly, they involve different types of brain processing... We live in a culture that trumpets the value of doing many things at once — that multitasking is an asset or strength. As noted above, it only leads to decreased productivity.
The author centered her comments around our hyper-connected world of mobile devices, but I think that it's applicable to many other aspects of our life. It reminds me of a Harvard Business Review article I read a few years ago about managing our energy, not our time:
To recharge themselves, individuals need to recognize the costs of energy-depleting behaviors and then take responsibility for changing them, regardless of the circumstances they’re facing.
Multitasking falls into "energy-depleting behavior" if you ask my honest opinion.  So I'm going to quit.  I'm going to see multitasking for what it really is and just focus on one thing at a time.  Needless to say, I'm feeling a little spent these days.  I need to rediscover recharge exercises and re-energizing routines.  And I need to be there and make the present my priority.  But first I need a nap.


Wisdom and order

 I have always been a fan of Mosiah 4:27:

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.
Maybe it's because I am was a runner, but the imagery is very clear to me.  I hear this quoted all the time, as well: "don't run faster than you have strength" which surely stems from this verse.  This has been on my mind a lot lately, as I feel my strength depleting, and the question as to whether I am running faster than I have strength is constantly at the forefront of my thoughts.  Over the weekend, something hit me that made me rethink my interpretation of this scripture.  All this time, I've understood this scripture to effectively say "slow down, you're movin' too fast..." but it actually doesn't say that at all.  The directive here is not about running, but about seeing that things are done in wisdom and order.  See that things are done, as in completed or finished, in the proper order and with prudence, so that over the long haul - hence the mention of diligence - we can win the prize.  Running illustrates the concept perfectly; the things required of us in this life will be long and drawn-out, not a quick sprint and we're finished.  We shouldn't run faster than we have strength, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't run fast, or even very fast.  The verse ends with a reiteration of the concept all things must be done in order, allowing no leeway for complacence - aside from the well-understood in order, let us not miss the operative phrase here, that all things must be done. Period.

So this scripture, which once brought me comfort when I felt weak and slow, now motivates me to try even harder to work smart as well as hard.  Wisdom and order trump speed, and diligence leads to the prize.  My efforts though feeble now must move forward with more structure and discipline to accomplish all that is required of me - all things must be done - rather than claim I am running too fast and excuse myself to sit on the side awhile.  I know that God will support me as I try, and I can take comfort in the thought that when I used to run, I was always last place at the beginning of the race, but somehow caught up in the end.

travel log
  • 02.13.08 - to the temple with Luan and his mom, good to be back
  • 02.14.08 - Mẫu's alive! and staying for the weekend
  • 02.15.08 - floor hockey and Thái food makes for some strange dreams
  • 02.17.08 - frisbee and swamp monster at the park: fun but I'm pooped!
  • 02.19.08 - just read Triết's response to my last post - game on!
  • 02.20.08 - raining and expected to continue through Sunday - thank goodness!
  • 02.21.08 - 3-hour nap is a bad idea right before bed
  • 02.23.08 - to the beach to watch kites, a baptism @ 5pm, and homemade bulgogi - what a day!
  • 02.25.08 - just gave myself a haircut - woo, cold head!
  • 02.26.08 - 75° and spring cleaning - couldn't feel better
  • 02.27.08 - fed the elders bún đậu tonight - think it's their first time
  • 03.01.08 - working on new background...
  • 03.02.08 - finalized javascript to change background without muffing up my other scripts
  • 03.03.08 - fhe: "In his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)
  • 03.07.08 - some decisions are harder than others, but some are downright excruciating
  • 03.08.08 - there is life after work... i almost forgot
  • 03.11.08 - the distance between good and bad is much shorter than between better and best
  • 03.12.08 - conversion is sometimes a gradual process, so much so that we don't even notice
  • 03.14.08 - for some reason everything was a little harder today, looking forward for bed!
  • 03.15.08 - last night after blog reading, I missed OnlyBlue, today I find she's back
  • 03.16.08 - best day of my life!
  • 03.19.08 - "Pray for the answer that they've been looking for"
release notes v1.0 - FINALLY DONE!
  • 12.07 - first thought of starting a new blog
  • 01.08 - busy with election stuff but blog design still on back burner
  • 01.13.08 - first idea to imitate jk rowling with the "desk" theme
  • 01.28.08 - start sketching current design, breaking down development into phases
  • 02.02.08 - election only days away but still drafting final plans
  • 02.04.08 - v0.6 LAUNCH
    • main components (blog body, sidebar, header, etc) designed and implemented
    • styling for font, links, drop caps, etc. finished
  • 02.07.08 - v0.8 LAUNCH
    • image style to imitate polariod
    • moveability - post-it notes and static clings can be repositioned by drag and drop
    • release notes styled and written
  • 02.16.08 - travel log (beta) added in hopes of catching the mundane
  • 02.22.08 - lightbox 2.03 reinstalled and working fine (hopefully - let me know otherwise)
  • 02.26.08 - v0.9 LAUNCH
    • travel log seems to be working, so I'll keep it
    • lightbox also seems to have passed the test, so it's a keeper
    • some credits/info added to bottom (will expand)
    • keeping old Viet terms in archive for future viewing
  • 03.18.08 - v1.0 LAUNCH
    • installation and testing of time-sensitive background completed (for now)