Editor's note: "The Spoken Word" is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.
Have you ever needed a reset — a chance to wipe the slate clean and approach things from a fresh perspective? This is a little more than just setting goals to try harder or be better.
A reset allows us to change direction when we sense that we're off course; it gets us back on track when we've been derailed. And somehow, life has a way of derailing everyone at times. We get too busy, too distracted, too burdened to remember our larger purpose, plans or perspective.
Many opportunities for a reset come naturally in the routine of life: the beginning of a new year or a new week or the start of a new job or a new relationship are all good times to reset. But sometimes we need to make our own opportunities. For example, a few weeks into a new semester, a teacher sensed this need in his students. He had started to notice bad attitudes and sloppy work, so he offered a reset — for himself and his students. He reminded them of the purposes of the course, and the chance to start over inspired them to be more committed to those purposes. In time, the classroom dynamic began to change.
A family did something similar. When contention and bickering had become too commonplace, the parents put together a plan to reset their family life. They tried to simplify certain activities, to support each other better, to be more kind and patient in their interactions. In time, hearts and attitudes began to change.
Whether in a classroom, home, office or relationship, sometimes in order to move forward we need to back up a little and remember where we wanted to go in the first place. There are many things we can't change, but we can always reset our hearts to find more room for love, forgiveness, compassion and determination to do better.
Of course, a reset doesn't change things overnight. Just as problems take time to develop, solutions also take time — and patience, diligence and commitment. But a sincere reset sends a message that we are serious about starting over, correcting mistakes and trying harder to do things differently and better.