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Not Ministering with tunnel vision

In the Gospels, we hear the story of a Jewish leader, Jairus, who faithfully asked Jesus to heal his dying daughter. See Matthew 9:18–20, 23–26, Mark 5:21–24, 35–43, Luke 8:41–42, 49–56. This was a great miracle, and many lessons are learned from it.

While on His way to Jairus' house, another great miracle occurred. We read

about a woman with an issue of blood for 12 years who reached out with faith and all her strength and touched the hem of Christ's garment. The Lord stops and, with tender words, says, "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace" (Luke 8:48). See Matthew 9:20–22, Mark 5:25–34, Luke 8:43–48. Again, an incredible miracle with many lessons to learn.

I want to discuss the lesson connecting these two miracles by telling a personal story. My friend and I attended RootsTech last week. We spent some time in the exhibition hall. We decided to have some lunch. We that decision, I became focused on getting lunch at the end of the hall. As we walked down the central aisle, my friend, who was walking on my left, kept turning into me because she was looking at the booths. I was not because I had tunnel vision. My only vision was lunch. I finally moved to her left so that she could see better. I also told her that if she wanted to stop, we could.

I tell the story to illustrate an aspect of ministering. Having focuses in our lives is helpful. We are focused on picking up our children from school. We are focused on the project at work. We are focused on getting our children out the door each weekday. We are focused on visiting a neighbor in room 512. All are good things.

The problem arises when our focus becomes tunnel vision. If we focus too much on getting from A to Z, it is hard to hear the Spirit tells us to stop at Q because they need you.

An excellent ward Relief Society president recently told me about following the Spirit. She had decided to visit Sister A. She was focused, but Sister B's door was open as she walked down the hall—a rare event. The inspired Relief Society President turned to visit Sister B, who needed a visit. If the president had tunnel vision, she might have taken note to visit with Sister B tomorrow, but Sister B was in crisis today. She might have said, "I will visit her on my way back if the door is open." The problem is the door might have been shut, and ministering would not have occurred.

I am sure Jesus was focused on getting to Jairus' house, but he stopped to minister along the way. He was aware of a need along his way. Christ didn't say, "I'm in a hurry, or he would return." He ministered when needed. When he stopped, I am sure Jairus rolled his eyes feeling there was no time to waste. In truth, no time was wasted. His daughter was healed. The woman with the issue of blood was healed. Christ blessed each one when needed.

I encourage all (especially me) to focus on doing good [ministering] but not suffer from tunnel vision along our paths.

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"Men [and  women] are that they might have JOY..."

2 Nephi 2:25

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