Lately, I have been reading several stories from President Monson. Something that has really impacted me is what he says about promptings. Many of his stories related times when responding immediately to promptings saved someone’s life. And he said that he learned to never postpone a prompting and that he wants God to know that if he needs something done, he can count on him to do it.
I have thought about that a lot over the last few months. It’s really hard to commit to following all the promptings God gives you right away. It’s hard partly because it’s super scary and partly because I don’t know for sure when thoughts are promptings or just me. It says in the scriptures though that anything that persuades people to do good is from God. So to be safe, I just assume all of my good thoughts are promptings. That leaves the second part, that promptings are super scary.
I have never felt scared more often than I do now. Every time I get a prompting, I just think, “oh, man… What do I do now?” It’s scary doing good things for people. It’s scary talking to people or making comments. Every time I do, it causes extreme anxiety and discomfort. I worry about what I’m doing from the time I get the prompting until long after I’ve done whatever I was prompted to do. But courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s the decision to act despite being afraid.
Yes, I feel more scared than ever before. But I am listening to those fears less than I ever have before. It’s still scary. I still worry about having a panic attack or things going horribly wrong. But I would rather be anxious and afraid by doing good than comfortable in my complacency by failing to act to improve someone’s life. Following promptings doesn’t usually mean saving people’s lives, but I just think that maybe it will make someone less sad just a little faster, and that is worth all the anxiety I go through to do it.