Most days are just days.
I thought of these words as I darted out of work, late to my book group that evening. I heard them in a talk or conversation chattering from my iPhone earlier that week, and for some reason amidst all the other words and songs I heard, they stuck. As I clip-clopped my way down the sidewalk I wondered if that saying or observation was meant to be comforting or just glumly realistic.
See, Latter-day Saints share a common language and belief about meaning and purpose. It’s like the back of a rug or tapestry. Life looks like the back – a lot of messy strings and threads, but on the other side, a distinct pattern of color and value is revealed in a perfect combination of art and function. To many this narrative gives hope. But to others the seemingly meaningless heartaches, tragedies, or lack-luster days remain a mess of color and strings – the picture yet to be seen. I continued to my car, looked up the address of where I was to meet my book group and drove.
We were meeting downtown, and I was supposed to park on South Temple. Unable to find a parking spot I huffed, turned left, and drove up a street to pull over. As I prepared to back up and flip around, I checked for cars in the side-mirror. My breath caught, and I froze as the glowing Salt Lake Temple stared at me through my mirror. I let the meaning of this moment wash over me. I chose to stop for a few breaths and be still. A bit distant from those soft deep conversations, I let the Spirit in, and thought – you’re looking and asking for things right to the side and behind you. Literally in your rear view mirror! Just turn around and look.
In the perpetual hustle of days, the story I was telling myself and choosing to believe was one of flatness. If my heart asked for tender mercies and great things to be brought to pass, I felt that moment remind me that sometimes we have to slow our days down and try to find seeds of meaning to receive and get a glimpse of the potential picture we are breezing past and not even noticing.
After I got home that night I watched the end of a movie. The girl in the movie commented on what a beautiful night it was. The man next to her asked what that even meant. After thinking, she looked over at him and said that it meant it was completely comfortable, but that there’s also something deeply moving about it. I liked that. I felt that way about the temple and had felt that way about my day-to-day life at one time too. Seeking beauty in our days doesn’t mean big huge picture perfect moments, but trying to find beauty and purpose in the small and simple scenic mess of our day-to-day lives.
As mathematician Georg Cantor famously said, “my beautiful proof lies all in ruins,” and so too do most of our days.
How to do you find God, meaning, and small moments of joy in your day to day lives?