02202_000_016Watching my traps overflowing with beetles reminded me of something I had been neglecting.
One day while I was mowing the lawn, I admired the flowering shrubs and trees that were in full bloom in my yard. The thought occurred to me that the plants would not be nearly as beautiful had I not set out the Japanese beetle traps last year. In guarding my plants from leaf-munching menaces, I had positioned several traps to lure beetles into bags. I sometimes had to empty the overflowing bags two or three times a day and felt that I was guarding my beautiful plants from an evil threat. Had I not set out the traps, I thought, my plants would not be as beautiful. In fact, I might have lost some plants to those pesky insects.
As I pondered the traps, I thought of how my scripture study had lagged since I completed a reading of the Book of Mormon the previous year. Once I finished, I had not set another goal to fill its place. I was no longer getting up early for personal scripture study. I realized that over the past few months, my life had lost some of its direction and focus. Challenges seemed harder to tackle, my children seemed more needy, and I was always in a state of anxiety.
I realized that by not reading my scriptures daily, I was not setting out my traps to protect my spirituality from the adversary’s attacks. I decided to change my habits. As soon as I picked up the scriptures again and started reading on a regular schedule, I began to experience positive changes in my life. My family noticed them too. I found myself starting the day calmly and finishing it in the same manner. I found the peace I had lost.
Just as Japanese beetle traps are reliable in protecting plants from the destructive elements of life, daily scripture study protects me from the adversary and gives me the direction I need to stay on the strait and narrow path.
Illustration by Beth Whittaker