The week after General Conference is always funny to me. My mind is adrift among all kinds of new thoughts and nuggets of truth. So many people talked on so many topics that I can’t ever remember exactly who said what. It will take weeks of re-reading the talks to sort them all out.
But one that stood out to me all week was the concept of “more weight.” And it’s been a massive help to me. The Apostle, David Bednar shared a story of a man whose truck got stuck in the snow. Only after loading the truck bed with chopped wood was he able to get enough traction to drive out of the snow. The principle I got from this is that when you feel overwhelmed, sometimes the only solution is to give more than you’re already giving. Add more weight. It sounds so incredibly counterintuitive. But I know it’s true.
Years ago, back when I was a lot stronger, a friend and I had a long-distance weight lifting contest. We were competing with each other to see who could bench press 225 lbs the most times in one set. We had to use the honor system, of course, but we were both so competitive that we didn’t want to fudge—we both wanted a legitimate win. Every week we’d check in and report how many repetitions we could do in one set.
The same principle applied to me and Wendy years later. We were in financial turmoil. We were overextended. And we didn’t seem to have enough money monthly to cover our costs, let alone get ahead. Wendy and I talked long and hard about this. We explored all options. We talked with our Bishop. And we prayed. Finally the answer was pretty clear: start paying tithing.
We hadn’t paid our tithing in years because we couldn’t afford to. And the thought of an additional payment on top of our current burden seemed impossible. But we followed the prompting and paid our tithing the next day. Our financial situation started turning around that very week and has been on a steady, miraculous course ever since. The financial gains we’ve made have easily overcompensated for the dollar amount we are asked to contribute.
Anyone who knows me very well is aware that I’m overstressed at work. It’s just a busy job and a busy time of year. I feel every day that I have more to do than I can possibly get done. And I constantly feel like I’m letting people down. My solution the last few months has been to pull back from other important responsibilities. I’ve ignored my family, procrastinated at school, and toned down my church work. I felt too busy to do those things.
Conference reminded me that when I feel overburdened, sometimes the answer is to add more weight. This week I did. And, of course, it worked. We finally got the garage cleaned. Isaac and I went to our MMA class. I helped drive kids to school through the week. I volunteered to teach at church this week. We are singing with the choir at the Easter Fireside tonight. And the funny thing...I got a ton more done at work this week than I usually do. Go figure!
I do think there’s a time and season for all things and that we need to walk sometimes instead of run. But I am surprised to find again that I actually needed a little more work instead of a little less to get it all done.