When we look up at the night sky and see the light of thousands of stars, we often make connections between the points of light that form constellations like the Big Dipper and Orion. Likewise, making connections between the points of light in our own lives is an important way we can find direction, said Mike Middleton, speaking at the BYU Devotional on Tuesday.
"Individually and collectively our destiny lies in the ability to connect the points of light in our lives so that we can see the broad patterns of eternity," said Middleton, director of BYU's Cougar Club. "As we work hard, choose wisely, overcome opposition and exercise faith in the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation, we recognize that our destiny is not to gaze longingly into the night sky, but to create and organize the stars and to dwell eternally in the heavens."
Here are the four points of light Middleton outlined that we can use to help chart our course:
"Work is work and that's OK. It's acceptable, normal, expected and part of the plan. Whether you are a BYU student, faculty member or staff employee, if you don?t like work, you have come to the wrong university, and likely to the wrong planet.
"On days that I feel stuck-when progress is slow, or non-existent and when my life's tasks seem difficult, repetitive or fruitless; when I have days that any help sought seems unforthcoming or insufficient for my needs, it has helped me to remember that wonderful line, "This is what I came here to do" and to recognize that life's work and life's struggles, even the most difficult and mundane aspects for our existence, are truly, at least part of, what we came here to do."
2. Time is Precious
"It does not matter what mistakes you have made, what sins you've committed, how often you have failed or how awfully you have fallen short of your dreams or your potential in the past. Your future days are spotless and beckoning.
"The uncertainty and fragility of mortality remind us that every day is sacred and every hour is important, for whether you perceive that your life at this moment offers much or little, your life-the only one you have-is now."
3. Storms are Certain
"No matter who you are, your life will have storms-you will encounter discouragement, doubt and defeat. The difficulties you will face will amaze and overwhelm you at times, but it is your very response to such trials that will build your character and determine your destiny.
"So if you've failed a test, or had your heart broken, or lost a loved one, or an election, or an intramural basketball game or been fired from a job, welcome to the club. You are now in the company of the greatest heroes in earth's history. What you do next will make all the difference.
"We humbly worship One who was a man of sorrows and well-acquainted with grief. He descended below all things. He was ridiculed, and reviled and rejected then betrayed in the closest and most cruel manner imaginable. The scriptures say He had no form or comeliness that we should desire Him and that we hid our faces from Him, even as He was wounded for our transgressions, healed us with His stripes and engraved us everlastingly on the palms of His hands through the miracle of the Atonement."
4. Know Who and Whose You Are
"As we come to know who and whose we are, it becomes easier to sign our work with excellence and to see our efforts not only as part of a personal test but also as part of an eternal plan."
Next Week's Devotional
The next BYU Devotional address will be held on Tuesday, June 2, at 11:05 a.m., in the de Jong Concert Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center. Diane Strong-Krause, BYU Linguistics and English Language Department Chair, will deliver the Devotional address.
Strong-Krause will talk about how being connected to our spiritual selves will help us better negotiate our everyday lives and the challenges we face.
Her remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYU Radio.