Saturday, January 17, 2015
It has been nearly six months since I have written on this blog and a lot of it has to do with time. Because I have been working full-time outside of the home, I felt that my time was better spent with my family when it wasn't spent at work.
Our Allotment of Time
The funny thing about time is, it passes whether we want it to or not, but we always get to choose what we spend it on. We can choose to spend our allowance of time on things that we believe will bring us success and, as a result, we can gain all of the money and prestige that comes with the spending of time in that way. We can accumulate things like titles, possessions, power and favors and we can use our time to build up a kingdom of wealth and glory here on Earth. That's not always a bad thing, but sometimes it is, if we let the time we spend on those things take time from things that are of greater importance.
We can choose to spend our allowance of time in other areas, like serving those around us, loving when anger would be easier, giving of ourselves and growing into the mother or father our children would be proud of. We can spend our time on our church calling and our community, giving goodness and sharing our time and talents for the benefit of others.
In my job, I had a choice. The choice was a simple one, to dedicate myself to a growing company, giving more time than I bargained for in order to move ahead, or I could take a stand and defend my time with my family. Time is important to me, and the time that I value and treasure above all others is the time I have with my family.
Because of my stand, I was fired. I was told things weren't going to work out because the company was not my priority. And do you know what? They were right. The company was not my priority. First, foremost and always I am a mother and my priority is and always will be my family and the time I have to make a difference in their lives.
Satan's Attack on Our Time
I think that the family is under attack by the Adversary, not just in trying to break up the family, but in trying to keep us away from one another. If he can't break us up, then he does all he can to keep us apart because he knows that together, we are strong. He pulls us in so many directions, doing so many different things, keeping us apart so we can never stand together, Satan does this so he can attack us individually because he knows when we stand together, we are strong and he would never have a chance to defeat us. This is why daily family prayer, daily scripture study, and weekly Family Home Evening are so valuable and important. These are times that a family can take a stand against Satan and they can do it together.
In his attacks, Satan pulls parents out of the home and entices them to use their allotment of time to pursue job advancements and bonuses, overtime and pay increases. These types of achievements require more time away and a greater commitment to the company, and by default, there is less of a commitment to the family. He makes us believe that we never have enough, that these achievements are necessary so we can have the life we've always wanted, where we can give our children everything they've ever wanted. When in reality, if you were to ask our children, all they really want is our time.
Children are taken out of the home to attend school where most of their childhood time is spent in someone else's care. They are put into a building with hundreds of other children, who have also been taken from their homes. These young people are all trying to figure life out and are expected to do it on their own, among their peers while their parents wait for their return with little control over what their children see, hear, learn or experience. The Adversary creeps in and attacks them one by one through bullying, drugs, self-image, pornography, foul language, immorality, and many more frightening attacks our children face on a daily basis that they don't even tell us about and that we can't even imagine.
If that isn't enough, the Adversary makes us believe that extra-curricular activities are essential to a growing child, so we spend more of our valuable time in activities of every kind from dance to sports to musical talents, believing all the while that this is what is best for our children. By the time we have completed everything we have allotted for our time, there is little time left for the family.
Busier Than God Ever Intended
Don't get me wrong, a job is good, education is good, talents and hobbies are good, but if our lives are filled with so much of these things that there is not time to sit down at night and have a family dinner, if there is not time to read your scriptures and say your prayers as a family, then you are busier than your Heavenly Father ever intended you to be and you have fallen into the Adversary's trap of spending your time on things that don't really matter. After all is said and done, the only thing you can take with you from this life is your family. They should be your focus, they should be your goal and they should be your greatest achievement.
God's View of Time
To God, this life we are living is only but a moment to Him. His passing of time is much different than ours. If we knew that this life was just one small moment, if we knew it would be over in an instant, what would be most important? If you only had one moment to live, what would you spend your time one? In your final interview with Heavenly Father, He will not ask you what kind of job you had, what kind of grades you or your children received in school, how many family vacations you took, or how many extra-curricular activities you participated in. What He will ask you is what did you do with the time allotted and at the very top of that list, He will ask you what kind of Father or Mother you were. That is what He values most, and if the God of Heaven and Earth values His Fatherhood over all other names, shouldn't we value our parenthood and our children as much as He?
So, time will pass and we have no control over that, but we do have control over what we will do with it when it does. My hope is that, now and forever, we choose to spend our time on the things that matter most because in the end, that is what will bring us and our family the most lasting happiness.