Finding time by finding peace

When I gave up my career to be a full-time mother, I thought I would have lots of time for prayer, study, and relaxation. Not so! I'm sure we have all felt that we have so much that must get done that we don't have time for what we want to do. Jobs, family demands, housework, and the like seem to leave little time for leisure. It's tempting to think that if we could only find more time, we would feel more peaceful. Often, though, I have found the reverse to be true: when I am at peace, I have plenty of time.

How do we find this peace? By discovering that all that is really required of us is to love. Christ Jesus said that the great commandments are to love God and to love our neighbor as ourself. Paul wrote that love fulfills the law (see Rom. 13:10), and he described what love consists of in First Corinthians, chapter 13. We can use this chapter as a kind of checklist to see if we are being loving. Reflecting divine Love, God, is something we can do right in the midst of our other activities, and such loving brings peace. How does this sense of peace give us more time, though?

By human standards we may believe that we are being productive only if we can see certain kinds of material results. Some might say, "Being a good person is fine, but there is work to be done." Jesus showed us, however, that if we put our spiritual growth first, everything else will be taken care of. He said: "Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? ... But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:31, 33). As we seek the kingdom of God—striving to express heavenly qualities such as love—we find that a sense of burden melts away, and increasingly, whatever needs to get done can be done. Some activities might not take as long as we had thought they would. We may find that other activities aren't really necessary or can wait until later.

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Don't gamble with your integrity
October 24, 1994

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