So often we have to make choices without all the information, and sometimes we think we have all the information, and we don’t. When we look back, or when we learn the a missing piece, we exclaim “I wish I had known that! I would have made a different choice!”
Here in our mortal lives we do not have all the information. Before we came to this earth we had a clearer picture of things than we do now, we had more information. (Click here to learn more about the plan of salvation.) We made choices there that affect our lives here, number one being the choice to follow Christ which allows us to be here in the first place. We made those choices in the premortal life with “all the information”, but perhaps with less understanding of how hard carrying those choices out would be.
Down here in mortality I don’t have all the knowledge I did then. I don’t even have all the knowledge of my own strength and personality, but I know who I am, and I trust myself. The burden I’ve been struggling with the past few days is really just been a magnification of a burden I’ve been dealing with for years. Recently I it was made known to me, through the wonderful blessing of personal revelation, that it was something I chose to deal with. I know who I am, maybe not as clearly as I did then, but I know enough about my eternal personality to trust myself. I chose it when I had all the information. I chose it when I knew what the reward would be. I chose it when I knew it would be worth it. I should not doubt the decision I made just because I no longer have all the information.
In every race I run, from as short as a 5k to as long as a marathon, there is a part where things get hard and I think about quitting. No matter how well trained or what my fitness level is there is a part where it really hurts and I slow and falter. When I get to the finish line and time is no longer in the “slow motion” of the adrenaline rush, I see how those moments reflect my results. When I missed a Boston Qualifying marathon time by 9 seconds or a sub 20 minute 5k by 3 seconds those moments where I faltered came flashing back. In the moment it seems so hard to keep going because I wasn’t able to see past the pain of the moment. At the finish line it is always clear how short those moments truly were. When I doubt my own abilities for even those brief moments, it changes my abilities to achieve what I am capable of. When I get to those moments in the race I started telling myself “This is where you get to choose if this is a moment you look back on and regret or not. Don’t let this be that moment.”
Our mortal life is the same way. In my life I get to these moments where life is overwhelming and it seems more than I can bear. I look myself in the mirror and say “Don’t let this be the moment that you look back on with regret.” The pain is intense, but worth pushing through.
Here’s the real secret: If I quit running the race I still have to get back to the finish line. There is no where to permanently stop along the route. I have to get back to the finish line, and the fastest way back to the finish line and the relief from the pain, is to keep running as hard as I can until I get there! And there is usually food at the finish line, and I always want to be where the food is!
When we quit, or give up, in life we still aren’t at the finish line. It doesn’t accomplish anything more than to prolong the agony. We may as well keep running as hard as we can until we get to that finish line!