Lately... I've been shockingly slothful. In my defense, my hour commute to work has been weighing down on me, and instead of waking up in time for scripture study or a work-out, I have been sleeping in and going to work without either. At first, it was okay because I would do both after work. Sadly, I surprised even myself when my weekly workout routines of 4 or 5 days per week became 2 or 3. The expedited decrease in physical fitness is not the only aspect of my routine that has become lazy. My scripture study has become the last thing I do at night, and as such, is usually never at a desk. That's not to say that I usually did study at a desk, but the frequency of utilizing my bed* as a desk has dramatically increased. i dare say, the study has become too lax and most times, I fall asleep reading. The situation was magnified when I found myself, rethinking a visit to the Temple two weeks in a row.
I know it's not always possible to visit the Temple weekly but being single and only living 35 miles away, it is definitely feasible to make it a part of my weekly routine. That said, lately, I have been rethinking whether or not I can make the commute and time commitment.
Yet both times I have gone... despite the impending inclination to put it off (just this one time... I'll go next week... promise), I have gone. One of the principles most often taught during my Church meetings every Sunday is that of making sure you go to Church when you LEAST feel like it as that is when you need it most. So taking that principle into action, I did exactly that. They say there are blessings from the Temple and to that I testify.
The first time I went to the Temple against my inherent reaction that time was of essence and the Temple just didn't fit into my schedule, I was out in an hour which compared to my normal three hour duration, was amazing. Not only did I feel the Spirit and do some work, I was out in due time! Coincidence?
The second time I went to the Temple against my once more inherent reaction that work was overloading me and there was no way I could get through the pile of demands on my plate.... I decided the second I pulled out of the driveway. I could drive to the bus or train station, or drive to work. The two modes of public transportation meant no Temple after work, and though I had already committed to finding time on Saturday to go by the Temple instead, in the split second that I pulled out of the driveway, I told myself... when you think you need it least, you need it most, and off I went! Now normally, the local commute to downtown LA takes an hour, plus parking and walking to my office. This day, the lights were all green, the roads were all clear and somehow, I know not how, I arrived in 45 minutes-- parked and was up in my desk within the hour. Wow. And then, as I got through all my work demands, each conversation, each task, just happened. Work was happening. Not one of those, wow, how do I keep getting more on my to-do list, but one of those, wow, I'm checking items off and my list is getting smaller! It was insane! Nothing special happened at the Temple in terms of an a-ha moment. But upon leaving, I once again thought... coincidence?
For two weeks, I have gone to the Temple against all initial desires and for two weeks, I have seen blessings in my life.. not necessarily huge, in my face, wow moments, but small, minor, I actually got that done and more type moments. And I'm reminded that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise," (Alma 37:6).
*Sidenote - I recall a study done in college about the effectiveness of studying in bed being null. The argument was that the body thought of bed as a place to rest and therefore, studying in bed meant 1) you'd fall asleep or 2) you'd be unable to fall asleep if it became a study place. I know for me and most people, it's the former option that is dangerous. The latter rarely happens... although probably not completely uncommon!