The other day, while we were on a road trip, I said to my family, “I miss being a Primary teacher.”
Then my wife said, “And you also miss being the bishop, the elder’s quorum president, and Scoutmaster.”
And she was right. I have trouble with this. But it is interesting now that it is easier for me to let go of the difficult and regrettable things in my past than the good things. It wasn’t always that way.
I think until the time I was called as a bishop, I had a real tough time letting go of negative things in my past. I carried them around in an emotional backpack. But I can tell you the moment that all stopped. Really.
When I was called to be bishop, our stake president, President Kenneth Jones, held a letter in his left hand and said to me and my wife, “I have a letter here signed by President Gordon B. Hinckley authorizing me to call you to be bishop of the Mapleton 12th Ward.” It was a life changing moment for me. It was the moment that I stopped living in my I’m-not-good-enough past.
But since I was released as bishop, an interesting pattern arose, the pattern of living in my happy past.
Another thing my wife said to me recently is, “You often say things like ‘When I was bishop….'” She was right about that, too. I have to work consciously to let go of this. It’s not always easy.
It’s not that I want to be bishop again. Our new bishop is doing a wonderful job, and I often think to myself, “Why didn’t I think to do things that way?”
I feel very strongly that I was released at the right time. Within a few months, I collapsed physically. I’ve needed time to heal and recuperate. I am grateful that I’ve had that time.
And we’ve been enormously blessed since I was released. It was as if a huge wall of opposition was suddenly broken down. Since that time, I have been doing better physically and financially, more than I have in the last decade. I’ve never enjoyed a job as much as my current one. It has been amazing to see what has unfolded since I was released.
I still find myself living in the past, though. Not just when I was bishop, but I think almost daily about living on our family ranch when I was young, about when our children were young, day dreaming about the times when we used to be able to go on vacation as a family (we haven’t done that much in recent years). And on and on and on and on.
Anyway, will you help me? I need your advice. I’d love to hear from you about what I should do about this. I don’t have an answer. But maybe some of you inspired people who happen to be fasting today will have some advice for me.
As always, thank you for reading.