At the time your mother had a friend who got one job after another. She didn't like the job she had been hired for, so she quit and would get another job. All the while I am thinking "I can't even get an interview. What is wrong with me?" I got involved with LDS Employment, which became an incredible resource and support system. I still have dear friends today from my numerous interactions there. Nonetheless, rejection is a daily occurrence in the job hunt. And I thought there was no end in site.
Your mother consistently supported me, though it was difficult for her as well. You children were longsuffering. Steven counselled me, and together we rehearsed some interview situations in an effort to help. It did help. All the efforts made a difference, but it did not come quickly or easily.
One time, I figuratively sat down and said to myself "I am not tied down to a job anyway. What would I do if money was no object?" and that is when I began a few hobbies that I am still enjoying today.
When I finally got my job at Oracle, it wasn't through LDS Employment. None of you provided the opportunity for me, but it all helped nonetheless. And now I have the awareness of looking back with hindsight, and I see how fortunate that I have been. It's kind of like the experience we had in Castle Valley. That too was hard and monotonous and challenging at times, but given time it has become one of the most valuable opportunities of my life.
So I have decided that challenges are opportunities for us to grow and develop ourselves beyond what we are comfortable with. Nobody goes to the gym expecting to just sit back and watch. We bust through exercises that really hurt and endure countless repetitions that are painful and demanding. And we do it consistently, because we know that in the end, it will all be worth it.
That's just the way we should face the obstacles that confront us in life. In a few words, life is not the goal or final destination. Life is a means to an end, and we are busting through it for the same reason we exercise .. to get to a better place and a finer outcome. We might enjoy the ride. There is nothing wrong with that. But life is not the end we have in mind. Whatever the cost, the future that is in store for you and your loved ones is so much better than what you can even now conceive.
"The challenge is not so much closing the gap between our actions and our belief, the challenge is closing the gap between our belief and the truth." You might have to read that again. I had to read it a half dozen times.
But I think I have it now. The outcome of this life is so much better than what we can possibly imagine—a hundred times better—here and now.
In the end, it will all be worth it. I can promise you that.
I love you, dad