Do you ever feel like you don't have enough time in your day? Are you often frustrated, easily stressed out, or sometimes just plain overwhelmed and exhausted? Is it to the point that when service is needed, you feel like the last person on earth with the time or strength to serve and either turn down the opportunity or serve grudgingly?
This last month I have been reflecting a lot on time, talents and service. We just moved into our new home a month ago. As I've been working hard at getting the house put together and my various other projects, there have been more and more friends, family and sometimes complete strangers who have reached out to me if one way or another asking for help with their ideas, projects and talents.
|The quilt I finished for my baby's bed|
|My son's big birthday party last mont|
It was then, that the law of consecration came into my mind. The law of consecration is a divine principle whereby men and women voluntarily dedicate their time, talents, and material wealth to the establishment and building up of God’s kingdom. As Latter days Saints (Mormons), we are taught and asked to live the law of consecration in our daily lives. Though not always easy (especially when you are a busy mom), we understand the importance of it and the blessings that come from dedicating ourselves to the Lord and His work.
|My daughter at Nationals for clogging last month|
Everything we have, comes from the Lord (including our talents). The gifts we have been given are not just for own benefit, they have a deeper purpose. When I remember this, it makes it a bit easier to give to others what has been given to me. The more we give, the more the Lord will fill our cups so that we can continue to give.
I don't know about you, but the parable of the talents comes to mind here. In Matthew 25:13-40, Jesus tells of a master who was leaving his home to travel, and before going entrusted his property to his servants (property worth 8 talents, where a talent was a large unit of money). One servant receives five talents, the second two talents, and the third one talent, according to their respective abilities.
Returning after a long absence, the master asks his servants for an accounting. The first two servants explain that they have each put their money to work and doubled the value of the property they were entrusted with, and so they are each rewarded. The third servant, however, has merely hidden his talent in a hole in the ground, and is punished for being lazy.
While on this spiritual whirlwind I was being lifted higher and higher to a better understanding of why I needed to realign my priorities. I mean, how important were my projects that I couldn't take a break from them to help someone nurture and grow their own talents? By doing so, these individuals would be able to use their own talents and ideas to do what I was doing (the ripple effect) and thus build the kingdom. The Lord gave me my talents so that I could use them to help others.
Think about the many times in your own life when you needed someone's help, advice, wisdom or some motivation. How grateful were you for the countless people who set aside their busy schedule to help you achieve what you needed at that moment. In fact, it's possible that you achieved an unimaginable goal because of this person. Did you pay it forward to help another?
The real influence here is our motive. It all comes down to what we are seeking after. In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus says: