Generally, we are a people on the go, on the fast track. We live in a world that seemingly has been speeded up, a high-tech world full of instant information and time-saving devices. At our fingertips are vast amounts of information that can be obtained in a matter of seconds. And technology has changed the way we do things and shortened the time required to do them. But yet, it seems, we still don't have enough time to get everything done.
Our lives appear to be on fast forward. We often feel there is so much to do and so little time. We may feel we have to run fast just to stay where we are.Some time ago, a retired man was talking to a younger man. "What are you doing now with all your spare time?" the younger man asked. "I am so busy," replied the retired man, "that I don't have time to do all I want to do."
"I don't have time" is a comment we frequently hear.
"I don't have time" is a well-worn phrase in this day of speeded-up lives, where hurrying is a way of life and waiting is painful.
The old saying of "He who hesitates is lost" seems to be so applicable in this day and age as we rush to get everything done that is required or expected of us, or which we expect of ourselves.
Yes, we are living in a very busy world, but it is essential we don't become so busy that we neglect what is really important.
President Spencer W. Kimball said in the April 1976 general conference: "No father, no son, no mother, no daughter should get so busy that he or she does not have time to study the scriptures and the words of the modern prophets. None of us should get so busy that we crowd out contemplation and praying. None of us should become so busy in our formal Church assignments that there is no room left for quiet Christian service to our neighbors."
We should not become so busy or wrapped up in our own personal activities that we neglect our families. It's essential that we build a lasting relationship with them. Many missionaries in their farewell talks in sacrament meeting prior to leaving on their missions have expressed appreciation for being close to their families, particularly their mothers and fathers, and that was the thing that kept them close to the gospel.
Recently, a high school girl asked her father who just got home from work one evening, "Do you want to go to the school play with me tonight?" With some reluctance the father agreed. He had planned on watching a professional basketball game on TV, and when he was told the play was a Shakespeare drama, he felt an even greater reluctance. He realized, however, that the basketball game, in reality, didn't mean a thing, but what was important was the opportunity to spend some time with his daughter in doing something she wanted to share with him.
Parents cannot spend quality time with their children unless they invest an equal amount of quantity time.
In 1831, the Lord gave this powerful warning to the Prophet Joseph Smith: ". . . It is not needful for this whole company of mine elders to be moving swiftly upon the waters, whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief." (D&C 61:3.)
That scripture has a modern-day application. We should not become so busy, as we move swiftly down the "waters of life" that we neglect those on the shore, either members of our families or our neighbors who may be perishing and are in need of our help.
In life, there also must be time to step back and appreciate, as God did during the creation. The creation, undoubtedly, was a very busy time, but it was not done in a hurry. Everything was not done in a day, but each phase in its own time according to a well-organized plan. And then after each day's creation, God paused and "saw that it was good." (See Genesis 1.)
We must eliminate some of the unnecessary things in our lives, as we "take time to make time" for that which adds beauty and meaning to our existence.
Take time to make somebody happy.
Make time to lighten another's load.
Take time to listen to a child.
Make time to help the elderly.
Take time to be kind.
Make time to lift the burdened.
Take time to wipe away a tear.
Make time to light the way.
Take time to say "please" and "thank you" and "I love you."
Make time to enjoy the creations of God.
And most important of all, take time to give thanks to Him from whom all blessings flow. (See Hymns #242.)