During one holiday break, a family decided they would work on an intricate jigsaw puzzle. They hoped this would be a fun opportunity to spend some time together. Their goal was to finish the puzzle before work and school started up again. During the first few days, everyone was all in. Then things started to slow down as they enjoyed other distractions. It looked like they would never accomplish their goal. But the family recommitted, and little by little, they worked on the puzzle until completion. Their motto became: doing something each day is better than doing nothing.
Sometimes the enormity of the task in front of us is so daunting, so overwhelming, that getting started and staying with it can feel impossible. Certainly, most of life’s difficult challenges and trials are much more rigorous than a puzzle. But the same principle applies: doing something is better than doing nothing.
Of course, in some circumstances, nothing is better than something. For example, there are times when a tense situation is best handled with silence and restraint, which are always better than saying or doing something in anger. But when it comes to improving ourselves or accomplishing a goal, even though we can’t do everything all at once, we can do something regularly, and that’s better than doing nothing at all.
An older couple has applied this motto to their physical health. Each day, they try to go for a little walk, stretch a bit, and move through their aches and pains. They have their physical limits, but they don’t let that stop them from doing something each day.
For others of us, it may not be a body but a relationship that needs strengthening. Here too, some small step toward healing is almost always better than doing nothing. And if that relationship we want to build is with God, there are many meaningful steps available: saying a prayer, taking a moment to ponder, reading from scripture, reaching out to someone in need. All of these small and simple efforts yield great results over time.
So when you feel like a task is too big, remember that putting it off for another day won’t make it any smaller. Progress comes by doing something, and that’s better than doing nothing.
April 18, 2021
Broadcast Number 4,779
The Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
“Give,” Said the Little Stream
William Bradbury; arr. Ryan Murphy
Called to Serve
Walter G. Tyler; arr. Mack Wilberg
Final, from Symphony no. 1
I Know That My Savior Loves Me
Tami Jeppson Creamer and Derena Bell; arr. Ryan Murphy
On a Clear Day, from On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Burton Lane; arr. Arthur Harris
And Then Shall Your Light Break Forth, from Elijah