Sunday, July 27, 2008

What Do You Think About When You Don't Have To Think About Anything?

Last month in a LDS Church magazine called the Ensign, there was an article abut President Henry B. Eyring. President Eyring serves as 1st Counselor to the Prophet or President of the LDS church, President Thomas S. Monson. In this article President Eyring talks about an experience he had with his dad. He says:

"When I was a teenager, I used to go out to the ice-cream parlors that everybody went to,” Harden says. “But Hal wouldn’t go out at night to the local hangouts. Instead, he was reading and studying.”

His older brother, Ted, a chemistry professor at the University of Utah, was a senior there when he took some classes with Hal. Ted observed that Hal could hold his own with anyone in the class. “When Hal is focused, he can accomplish anything,” he says. “He is a genuinely funny guy, and he remains in good spirits even in serious, challenging settings. Hal is much like his father.”

As he grew older, however, Hal discovered a major difference between himself and his father.
Henry Eyring encouraged his sons to study physics and to prepare for a career in the sciences. Hal dutifully majored in physics at the University of Utah, but one day when he asked his father for help with a complex mathematical problem, it became apparent to Henry that Hal did not share his passion.

“My father was at a blackboard we kept in the basement,” President Eyring recalls. “Suddenly he stopped. ‘Hal,’ he said, ‘we were working at this same kind of problem a week ago. You don’t seem to understand it any better now than you did then. Haven’t you been working on it?’ ”

Hal said he had not. He then admitted to his father that physics was not something he constantly thought about. His father paused a moment and then, in tender words that released his son to pursue his own professional passion, he said, “You ought to find something that you love so much that when you don’t have to think about anything, that’s what you think about.”3

So that's the question I have been thinking about a lot lately. What do I love so much that when I don't have to think about anything, I find myself thinking about? Well, this is my answer. Yours might be different. Firstly, I think about who and what I might do to serve those around me. I find myself constantly going through my list of family, friends and acquaintances and asking myself how I might make their burdens, trials and lives a bit happier and lighter. Interesting! I love to serve. I love to do service!

Secondly, I love to think about how I can make my home a bit of heaven on earth. By this I mean, I am constantly thinking about my relationship with my husband. What can I do to be a better partner? I then think about my children and my parenting skills. What am I doing to prepare my children for their futures? What am I doing to hurt or hinder them? Am I getting better at parenting or am I staying at status quo? I think about my physical home and what I can do to invite the spirit in. I think about the beauty or lack of beauty I am providing. I think about how people feel when they are in our home. I think about things I can do to make things more organized. I think about the cleanliness of our home. I think about ways to use my means or money better. I think about what I am doing to share the gospel with others in my home. I think about the talents that I have been given and how I can make them stronger.

So, when I am really thinking about things when I don't have to really have to be thinking about anything, that's what I'm thinking.

What are you thinking about or not thinking about?

3 comments:

Reese said...

My institute teacher used this story to talk about choosing a career. He also mentioned that most women think about their families when they aren't thinking of anything. That is why we make awesome mommies!

Mary said...

I can't remember the last time I was thinking about something when I didn't really need to be thinking about something!! : ) Maybe when I don't have any more babies at home!! Seriously though, I think great minds think alike because I find myself thinking about the same things when I'm driving in the car (usually my only time to think). Love the post...love ya too!!

Michal said...

i definitely think about my family and other relationships that are important to me.
and i think about food. sad, but true. i'm always planning the next meal, or a great recipe, or thinking about what i might take to the barbecue this weekend. no wonder i'm not at my goal weight!