During the early 1800s when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was just beginning to get its bearings, the Saints were commanded to move to Kirtland, Ohio, "for a season." Many of the Saints had come from far away just to get to Palmyra, only to be commanded to leave again. This became an unfortunate pattern for the Saints during the early days of the church, even after they made the trek west to Utah.
Despite knowing that they would have to leave everything behind and start over again somewhere else, the Saints were fruitful. They planted trees and gardens, built homes and churches, started businesses, even sacrificed everything they could to build temples. It would have all too easy to simply lay low for a few years and not waste any sweat, blood, and tears over something they knew was only temporary, but instead they turned swamps into beautiful cities and made the desert bloom as a rose.
One of the greatest blessings/cursings of this life is that everything is temporary, both the good and the bad. Knowing that some things are more temporary than others often prevents me from giving 100 percent to a certain project or even chunk of time. At times I live more in the future than I do in the present; I know I'll have certain things later in life, so I'll just scrimp by on certain things until I turn another page. When life starts to get uncomfortable, I tend to take on the following philosophy: be content with what you have until you can get something better. Not exactly a bad philosophy to have--it's certainly better than wallowing in misery and cursing the world until life magically fixes itself--but it's still not the "best" philosophy to abide by.
Someone in my ward recently said that, speaking specifically about our time as young single adults, we will be held accountable for what we do with this time of our lives. It's a good thought to pen in a pretty font and tape to your bathroom mirror, no matter what situation of life you are in. The Saints understood that, and so have many people throughout time.
I, however, am still trying to wrap my mind around the concept of something fleeting being worth my time and effort. The problem is, those fleeting moments tend to become more permanent, and if we don't invest in those fleeting moments, we may find ourselves 10 years down the road wondering why we wasted so much time.