A Life Of Meandering


Months ago at our chapel I happened upon a member of the church who I hadn’t seen in a while. I offered the obligatory greeting by asking the question “How is life going?” He responded somewhat disheartened,  “Meandering!” Just as quickly as he responded he disappeared down the hallway. I was left to ponder his answer. I actually stood there for a moment trying to digest the meaning of what he had just said. I guess he was saying that his life was going….anywhere,  but really nowhere. One definition of “meandering” is “to wander aimlessly or casually without urgent destination: ramble.” (Merriam-Webster). And I guess it is very disheartening if your life seems “to be aimlessly” going along with no purpose or direction.

Many years ago J. Thomas Fyans, had these words of wisdom regarding what should be the urgency and direction of our lives. He said:

“The good news of the gospel throughout the ages has been accompanied with a rapid pace and a sense of urgency…Now, if I may, I would like to (use) the analogy of… rivers. Some rivers are sluggish and meander through low places. Their waters are dirty and full of debris. These do not furnish the electricity that brightens our cities and serves our many needs.

Other rivers flow down from the high places, tributaries adding to their volume as they flow. Their current is strong, and as a result these furnish electricity for our needs and great ships sail upon them carrying the products of man’s labor.

Where do the streams of our thoughts flow? Are we reading the scriptures? Are we listening to the counsel of our present-day prophet? Are we catching the vision of really living the gospel? Are we feeling the sense of urgency—an urgency to repent, to share the gospel, to prepare for the second coming of the Savior, to obey all God’s commandments? (“Make Haste to Obey, April 1975, GC Sessions)

One of the great blessings of being a member of Christ’s church is that we should all feel purpose and direction for our lives. I am sure, like my friend, that all of us may feel discouraged at times and in our despair say that we lead a “meandering” life. But upon reflection, all of us should recognize that if we feel that way, it is usually because we have lost our way. Somehow we have allowed our vision to be clouded and our divine destination blurred. Our lives really can then become “dirty and full of debris,” which leads to a life of meandering as described by my friend that day at church.

This however, is not the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful thing it is to know that we are offspring of a living God, that he cares and that our lives “flow down from high places”. Indeed, we are on a journey that requires the best we have to give. We need to keep our “current strong” by daily prayer, scripture reading and following the words of the prophets.


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