The door opened, and someone entered, but the new leader didn’t look up. As the door closed, he heard someone ask, ” What are you looking at down there?” He recognized the voice as the head the organization. He quickly looked up and responded, “Oh, nothing.” But the head leader had seen his subdued countenance and heavy briefcase. He smiled and lovingly suggested, while pointing heavenward, “It’s better to look up!” As they traveled down one more level, the head leader explained how he was off to a meeting. When he bid the other farewell, his parting glance spoke again to the other, “Now, remember, it is better to look up.”[i]
It’s so easy when we are feeling down and depressed, to get so caught up in the inward pain of the moment. It is easy forget to look upward and to lay our burdens on God and seek his help.
I had a particularly difficult day at work a few years ago. I was despondent when my boss indicted I was incompetent for my current position. Upon reaching my home, I went to a vacant bedroom to pray to try to find some comfort. But I hurt so much inside that I could only lie on the floor and offer my thoughts to God in my mind. It was too difficult to verbalize them or to kneel. I told Him how wounded I felt, how disgusted I was with myself, and how I was reluctant to even address Him with all my weaknesses and failures.
Still lying prostrated on the floor, I found the strength to ask Him for assistance. I sought for comfort that I might endure and overcome the sting in my heart. I implored Him for inspiration and insights as to how I might extricate myself from the dreadful spot I was in.
After that, I started to feel better. A few days later, a good friend suggested that I read a book that turned out to be especially helpful to me. The book helped me understand what I needed to do to get to a better place long term in my career. I also committed to myself that I would strive to make each prayer more serious and deliberate. From then to this day, whenever I say my individual morning and evening prayers, I go into another room to be alone if my wife or others are around. I pray verbally and with more intent than before.
Even still, when I have bad days of depression, I find this practice much more difficult. Nevertheless, when I push through it and earnestly “look up,” things go better, and my down periods tend to be shallower and shorter. I feel I get inspiration about what specifically I can do to help myself pull out of it.
Looking up when we’re feeling down truly helps!
[i] [i] Carl B. Cook, “It’s Better to Look Up,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 33