“Can you play with me?” came a little-boy voice from the edge of the kitchen table. I looked up from my homework. My brother stood next to the table. I looked back at my homework. There was a lot to do. I had to finish the reading and write an essay and practice my violin before dance class. Hurriedly and almost automatically I said, “I have a lot to do. Maybe later.” My brother slunk off to play by himself.
This was a scenario that happened over and over again when I was in Junior High and High School. I was busy. I had dance class twice a week, violin lessons, mutual, and AP classes among other things. Can you relate? I was constantly trying to finish homework and do my best without staying up too late. These are all good things. But in my rush to get things done, I was ignoring something even more important: my relationship with my brother. Even though I would assure my brother that I would play with him later, I almost never did.
This happened over and over again until I had an important piece of personal revelation. I can’t remember how it happened but i had the distinct impression that I should stop saying no to my brother and instead say yes!, regardless of what else I had to do. This phrase came to mind: People are more important than things.
So I did my best to act on the impression. I swallowed my stress and ignored my homework for a little bit to play with my brother. We played with cars and blocks and even wrote and drew our own comics. We had fun. And you know what? My grades weren’t affected. I didn’t get significantly less sleep and my brother and I got a lot closer. I learned that Heavenly Father helps us when we are doing what he would have us do and he cares more about his children than anything else.
It takes faith to put aside things, even good things, to focus on people. You have to lean hard on the Holy Ghost for assurance that you are doing something good–something that Heavenly Father wants you to do. In the Doctrine and Covenants it says, “And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit” (D&C 11:12).
Lately, I’ve renewed my effort to focus on people and I’m trying to have the faith to stop washing dishes or sweeping the floor or writing a blog post to play with my kids. I want them to know that they are always more important to me than housework or other things.
What are ways that you can show the people you love that they are more important than things?