Remember the golden ticket from the imaginative story "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"? It promised fantastic things to those who would find it in their bar of Willy Wonka chocolate. People were desperate to find a golden ticket, so much so, that they lost appreciation for the simple joy of eating a chocolate bar if it didn't contain a golden ticket. They missed out on the happiness that was right in front of them.
On Saturday evening, Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, gave this sermon to the women of the LDS Church during a worldwide satellite broadcast:
It's only 20 minutes and well worth your time.
In it he talks about the dangers of waiting for a golden ticket and wanting it so much that it excludes all else in life. How sometimes wanting something so badly can cause us to miss out on the things in our lives, which, if recognized and appreciated, can bring so much fullness and joy to us.
It was a timely message. One that I fully understood and heartily applauded in my heart. I remember discovering, that if I had to wait for happiness to find me, then I sure was going to be waiting a long time. I stopped waiting, and went in search of it, and have kept on having wonderful adventures.
After the broadcast on Saturday, as I was driving some friends home, one of their mothers called to tell her daughter not to wait for her golden ticket to be happy. My mom also called that night, but I missed the call because I was driving and it was late and I had to work early the next morning. I imagined that she was calling to tell me the same thing.
So, I thought about what I would tell my mom if she said the same thing to me, and I had this thought: My life right now is a golden ticket! I am so blessed with a rich full life. I am happy, and learning to be happier. I know who I am and am learning so much about what and who I love. I have so much that I love and enjoy in my life, that I can't quite appreciate it all at times. Sure, I get sad and have hard days, and hard things to overcome. Happiness takes a lot of work sometimes and some days are easier than others, but all of this contributes to the golden ticket that is my life.
I am so thankful that I learned how to turn my life into a golden ticket by appreciating the simple joys in life: enjoying and loving the people around me, being true to myself and my Father in Heaven, and choosing happiness right here, right now. And that, more than anything, is what Pres. Uchtdorf wants us to know.