Growing up I lived in a great farm house in Blackrock Idaho. It was just big enough to keep our family of 9 comfortable and humble. With an older home, you get the joys of keeping up on home improvements on a yearly, sometimes, monthly basis. Now that my parents are "empty-nesters" they have been able to make the home very livable from converting a coal furnace to electric heat, re-shingling the roof, and even re-siding the exterior. It looks like new!
We were visiting over Valentines day, along with 2 of my siblings and there families, making a full house of 16! The great old home was being used and worked from every corner. Lights, space heaters, blow dryers, TVs...if it could be turned on, it was, even if it wasn't needed. While I was blow drying my hair in one bathroom, and my sister in another, all of the sudden the power shut off. There was a simultaneous "UH-OH" through out the house. My mom reassured us that she would flip the breaker and everything would come back on. She was right. So, we began blow drying our hair again, and not 2 minutes past when the power shut off again. Laughing, another simultaneous "UH-OH" echoed through out the house. Again, the breaker was switched. This time it was about 30 seconds, and for the 3rd time the power shut off. We were getting frustrated because we were running late. Why wouldn't the power stay on?
Never once did we stop to turn off all the gadgets that weren't being used. We went around the house finding lights, computers, curling irons, and TVs on, serving no purpose to anyone.
After taking a quick inventory of what was really neccesary to function we had no problem with the power for the remainder of our visit.
How often do we find ouselves TOO BUSY to incorporate the practices of personal and family prayer, scripture study, and temple attendance into our busy daily lives? Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that:
"Some parents become so expert at filling every physical desire for their children that they begin to
suppose that all is well in this life and that their eternal stewardship is progressing right on schedule...
I believe that we must pause and take a careful inventory to determine how well our families are
doing spiritually. We could ask how well are we feeding, nurturing, training, and exercising the spirits
of our children; or how well have we taught, trained, loved, and inspired our children to build their
spiritual muscles and strength?...Remember, eternity is now, not a vague, distant future. We prepare
each day, right now, for eternal life. If we are not preparing for eternal life, we are preparing for
something else, perhaps something far less." ("Spiritual Development," Ensign, Nov. 1978,66)
I feel that if we overload ourselves and our children with unneccessary activities, that serve no purpose in our eternal progression, eventually we are going to spiritually power down, or shut off. Just like my parents old overworked home shut off, we can lose our sense of purpose or weaken our testimony if we're not putting in the effort to nurture and feed our spiritual wellbeing on a daily basis.
In the February issue of the Ensign, "The Power of Early Preparation", it's says,
"If I were the devil, I don't think I could get to Latter-Day Saints with any of the big sins. I think I
would just keep them busy,"
Though we may be necessarily preparing or putting too much emphasis on our short-term goals, we cannot allow those things to distract us from our larger eternal goals. We need to start to establish regular patterns of gospel living.
Let's remember our eternal priorities when planning our day or week. "Turn Off" the unneccesary activities that keep you from performing your spiritual priorities, so you can avoid a Spiritual Power Outage!