Sunday, September 13, 2015

M. Russell Ballard on over-scheduling and making better choices

Elder M. Russell Ballard (1928- ) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985.
"Don't overschedule yourselves or your children. We live in a world that is filled with options. If we are not careful, we will find every minute jammed with social events, classes, exercise time, book clubs, scrapbooking, Church callings, music, sports, the Internet, and our favorite TV shows. One mother told me of a time that her children had 29 scheduled commitments every week: music lessons, Scouts, dance, Little League, day camps, soccer, art, and so forth. She felt like a taxi driver. Finally, she called a family meeting and announced, 'Something has to go; we have no time to ourselves and no time for each other.' Families need unstructured time when relationships can deepen and real parenting can take place. Take time to listen, to laugh, and to play together.
"Even as you try to cut out the extra commitments... find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick one or two things that you would like to learn or do that will enrich your life, and make time for them. Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children. Avoid any kind of substance abuse, mistakenly thinking that it will help you accomplish more. And don't allow yourself to be caught up in the time-wasting, mind-numbing things like television soap operas or surfing the Internet. Turn to the Lord in faith, and you will know what to do and how to do it."
- M. Russell Ballard, "Daughters of God," Ensign, May 2008, pp. 109-110
Click here to read the full talk

This is a very timely warning for families, and for individuals. We need to be careful about choosing how we fill our time. It's so easy to "overschedule" as we consider all the good and worthwhile options competing for our time:

The second part of the message is that as we control the demands on our time and eliminate some of the complications in our schedules, we should make sure the time is properly filled with the kinds of things that enrich life and bring us strength.

And the final encouragement is perhaps the most important in discovering where and how the "course corrections" need to be made: "Turn to the Lord in faith, and you will know what to do and how to do it."

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