I am among those lucky people whose work has not been negatively affected in any significant way by what is going on right now. Executives at the technology company I work for, SaltStack, based in Lehi announced several weeks ago that we would no longer have a physical office. The lease on our office space was up for renewal and our executive team decided to simply not renew and to take the company 100% remote.
We all scheduled a time to get personal items from the office and there are rumors that this could become permanent if it works out.
I don't really know how I feel about it yet. Working from home definitely has perks but I miss the personal interactions with colleagues at the office and there are times when it is more difficult to "leave work at the office" when I walk by my workspace all the time.
This is just one way the team at SaltStack has adjusted to run lean and get things done in a repeatable and predictable way. A business must be profitable with predictable, efficient, processes.
There have been times when, as Bishop of the Battle Creek 8th Ward, I have tried to apply techniques from my work environment to the ward operations in an attempt to run the ward as efficiently as possible.
I would hold meetings and discuss tracking callings that need to be made, how to always use our time wisely, and how to organize high-quality activities that the youth will "remember for the rest of their lives".
Sometimes it worked, usually it didn't. At first I wasn't sure why it wasn't working like I wanted it to. I was sometimes frustrated when it didn't. Well, I had some learning to do.
We lived with our Father in Heaven before coming to this earth. We came here to get a physical body and learn to exercise our decision-making muscles, a.k.a. agency, to build faith, make mistakes, and to repent.
Knowing that we exist after death and that we have the opportunity to return to live with our Father in Heaven and loved ones after this life, perhaps we should consider that we know that this life isn't our final destination.
Our life on earth is just one stop along an eternal path. It's a temporary place.
Remember, our Heavenly Father cares about each one of us individually. He knows and loves us. Me...you...everyone. We know and love him too but we don't remember our time with him before this life.
“Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar his face is to us.” – President Benson
(“Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations,” in Speeches of the Year, 1974, Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1975, p. 313.)
Jesus Christ, our older brother, also knows and loves us individually. Christ told Moses that "this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39 )
I get the impression that the Savior is not very concerned about smooth operations unless it could help someone. Our ways are not always the Saviors ways. What I thought was efficient was perhaps not the best for helping people see opportunities for personal improvement. We don't just get stuff done for the sake of getting it done.
What he wants is for us, individually, to make good choices. Elder Holmes said in conference that Heavenly Father doesn't want us to simply do what is right. He wants us to choose to do what is right.
Allowing us to experience life in all it's wonderful imperfections may be just the thing. We have to learn to make choices. We must be placed in situations that push us to stretch our spiritual muscles and learn to rely on the Lord.
Maybe a little messiness allows the Savior to do his work. Perhaps the Holy Ghost needs a little room to push us in the right directions. Perhaps an activity that doesn't go the right way allows one young woman or young man to have a spiritual experience they needed.
I've learned to let go a little, to give some space for the Lord to guide me in my path. I don't always do well at it. I could do better. We all can. I want to be better all at once but I know that lasting change rarely happens all at once. We have to make small, incremental and ongoing choices to do better. A little better here and there. Better today than yesterday.
Just like this little girl is surprised to see the plant growing, we will be amazed to see the miracles that the Lord can work in our lives. We just have to make space and allow him to work in hearts. Remember, it is "by small and simple things [that] great things [are] brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." (Alma 37:6).