On My Mind: Get to Joy’s

I am a runner. I suppose I couldn’t be called a die-hard, especially since around this time of the year I am kicking myself because I have been on a 4 month hiatus. Of course my excuses are far from acceptable: “the days are so short…there isn’t enough daylight” or “it is just way too cold.” Needless to say, I love to run.

As with any sport, running brings with it a myriad of challenges. Challenges come even to a seasoned runner as he or she is trying to climb a hill, to recover from an unsteady pace, to endure a long run that seems to never end, or even to overcome a cramping muscle. In the midst of the most difficult moment, I have found that having a personal mantra can be most helpful; a phrase that is said over and over in a runner’s mind can bring much needed perspective, encouragement, control, and strength.

From Jeff Galloway, an avid runner, I learned “mantras will connect into your hidden resources that keep you going when tired. The specific words you choose will help to make subconscious and intuitive connections with muscles, and your inner resolve” (Galloway’s Book on Running, 169).

On my training runs, it seems that the last mile is sometimes the most difficult. When I get to the last mile, I can see my neighborhood and I know I am almost finished. Of course that feeling is a wonderful one, but more often than not, I feel my strength has dwindled and all I want is to stop and walk. At such moments, I start repeating my training mantra: Get to Joy’s. Joy is my friend. Joy is also a runner and she has become running inspiration. She lives down the street from me and I know that if I can make it to her house, I can stop and do my “cool down walk”. Joy’s home is always (ALWAYS!!) a welcomed sight. I know that if I “Get to Joy’s,” I can say that I endured, I overcame the weakness of my physical body, I was in control, and I conquered the temptation to give up. It is energizing!!

Infertility produces running-like moments…moments when you are trying to climb an extra challenging hill, to overcome physical limitations, or to find energy at moments when you feel overwhelmed. In these moments, perhaps a mantra of some sort might change our perspective, give encouragement, help us feel more in control, or offer us strength.

I have recently found my mantra for such an occasion. This year in Primary, the children are learning a song called “I Know My Savior Loves Me.” All I can say is I…LOVE…IT!!! Every time the children sing the chorus, tears fill my eyes and I can feel they are speaking words of truth…words that perfectly express their budding testimonies:

“I know He lives! I will follow faithfully.
My heart I give to Him. I know that my Savior loves me.”

(2010 Sharing Time Outline, 28-29, emphasis added)
Click here to listen–you will be glad you did!!

It didn’t take long for this song to find a permanent place in my head and I found myself singing it at random moments. In these moments, I felt a surge of strength. I felt energy. I felt my perspective change. I felt re-focused…focused on what was most important. It was the Spirit. It is now my spiritual mantra.

I am not the first to declare that I know that our thoughts have a powerful influence upon who we are, what we accomplish, and who we become. I know that if we want strength, if we want joy, and if we want peace, we need to begin with our thoughts.

In the book As a Man Thinketh, James Allen said:

“In the armoury of thought [man] forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. … Between these two extremes are all the grades of character, and man is their maker and master. … Man is the master of thought, the moulder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.

“Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance” (As a Man Thinketh, 7-10, 33–34, as quoted by Elder L. Tom Perry, “Discipleship,” Ensign, Nov 2000).

I know that when we focus our thoughts specifically on the Savior and His love, we can feel peace, joy, and love. We are promised “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isaiah 26:3). I encourage you to find a personal mantra that will focus your mind on Him so that peace can be yours even in those most challenging hours when all seems lost, when you are emotionally exhausted, and when you need strength to endure.


2 March 2010


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