It seems here are life lessons I just have to keep learning. “Do not go into the first stall in the bathroom at the country fair on the final day of the fair” is one of them. By the fair’s final day, the maintenance crews are totally overwhelmed and there is never toilet paper in the first stall.
Sadly, the first-stall/last-day toilet paper lesson is not the only lesson I have to keep relearning. “Don’t drink before a movie” is another lesson I keep repeating. It happens again and again and again. I take a solid drink (solid as in “of a good substantial quality or kind// ex: solid comfort”, not solid as in a state of matter) before the show and live to regret it. About halfway through the show I start to get uncomfortable and the discomfort level of my progressively distending bladder steadily increases. Desires to see the entire show and desires NOT to disturb the people I would have to crawl over keep me in my seat. Discomfort turns to pain and pain turns to agony. The hairs on my arms raise and sweat gathers on my brow. Ultimately and inevitably the desire to empty my bladder becomes overpowering and, once again, I find myself in a bathroom stall asking “When will I learn?”
Not all of my re-lessons happen in bathroom stalls. Saturday morning, at 2:13, I was in bed when I asked myself, “When will I Iearn?” When I forget to bring Zorro in the house at night he starts barking in the wee morning hours. I have to get out of bed and let him in. This has happened more than once. Lots more than once…
When will I learn to clip the car keys onto the handle of my purse instead of dropping them on the counter, in a pocket, or anywhere else? When will I learn make a list for the store? When will I learn to look at my calendar? And the list goes on…..
Saturday’s re-lesson concerned concerns. It has been a rough school year so far. Rough. A friend who is considering exchanging his business career for a teaching one asked my advice. “Yikes!” was my response. I found myself fighting back tears in the dentist chair when the doctor asked me how my school year was going. Yep, rough. ROUGH.
What to do? I asked my administrator for help (she has been fabulous), I consulted my colleagues (they were also amazing), I sought inspiration in the temple (a good idea), I chatted with Lance (he was super supportive and empathetic) and I pondered a lot (A LOT). Still the problems persist. Two weeks in and my problems are still very painful.
Saturday I read about Alma in the Book of Mormon. He too was plagued by problems associated with people he was trying to teach. “And now the spirit of Alma was troubled..” Sounds familiar…. “..and he went and inquired of the Lord what he should do concerning this matter ...And it came to pass that after he had poured out his whole soul to the Lord, the voice of the Lord came to him…” (Mosiah 26:13-14)
Saturday morning at about 2:25 a.m. (right after I let Zorro in) I knelt and took my concern to God. I poured out my soul to Him, inquiring what I should do. Though I did not hear a voice, I did get an answer. The counsel concerning what to do with a certain student was specific plus I received a peaceful reassurance that the problems with the 8th grade population in general were solvable.
It seems that turning to the Lord in sincere, heartfelt, whole-souled prayer is also a lesson I have to keep learning.