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Davis Journal

Time and tide

Sep 15, 2023 10:11AM ● By John Waterbury

There is a very thought-provoking metaphor that seems to have been attributed to an English poet by the name of Geoffrey Chaucer in the year 1368 which states “Time and tide wait for no man.”  To me, this seems to mean that our success in life is determined primarily when we make things happen, rather than when we sit back and simply let thing them happen.

Now, undoubtedly, there are times to sit and wait, and there are times to make things happen.  Neither alternative seems to work for all situations, but I believe that generally, happiness is connected with motion.  Life is everywhere, and since something always leads to something else, motion seems to be connected with numerous unforeseen possibilities.

So, don’t wait until conditions are perfect.  The fact is that beginning again and again makes things perfect.  Keep going.  Everything you need will come to you. Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote that you’ll see it when you believe it.

We all define ourselves a little bit differently from each other, but the fact is that we’re all proven commodities.  We’ve all endured trials and challenges that have pushed us to our limits, and then beyond.  I’m certain that you’ve all been through times when things have gone from bad to worse.  And just when you thought that things couldn’t get any worse, they did.

And you picked yourself up one more time, preparing yourself, not as a victim, but as a victor who has developed the confidence that only comes from having paid the price, and weathered the storms of life.  And from those experiences, you developed the confidence and acceptance that there may be other soul-stretching experiences in your journey.  You know that life is full of uncertainty and you have undoubtedly decided that you can live with that.  

You understand that you are so much more that you can possibly comprehend, and you realize that in this current developmental phase, you have access to both sides of the veil.  You discover that as you face the trials and challenges in life, you finally understand that you can face whatever comes your way.  You know first-hand that not only can you endure them, but you can endure them well.

Somehow you have learned that no matter how painful life may be today, or how many mistakes and poor choices you may have made, it only represents one page, in one chapter in your Book of Life.  And you discover that your Book of life is an endless series of books; a compendium of insights, a collection of experiences of success and failure, of light and darkness, of fear and faith.  And you realize that that success in life doesn’t mean never falling down, it simply means picking yourself up every time you do. 

Heavenly Father has made it possible for us to make it successfully through this life.  Elder Brad Wilcox of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has emphasized that the Savior’s Grace is not just the light at the end of the tunnel, but His Grace is the light that gets us through the tunnel.

It seems interesting to realize that each of us is on a unique developmental path, and that path makes us different from those around us; not better than others, just different.  Our weaknesses and strengths bring us into the lives of those around us, resulting in changes in our lives that only Heavenly Father can comprehend. 

What do you think Heavenly Father has in mind for you?   

John Waterbury is a retired Clinical Mental Health Counselor who has lived in Utah since 1984 when he moved to Bountiful with his wife and four children. Since then, he has written a weekly column for several years for the Davis County Clipper titled “The Dear John Letters” which was also used throughout the intermountain West focusing on addiction and mental health problems. This new column will focus on mental health and life management issues.