Once we get going in life we can quickly get caught up in the details and forget what the whole thing is about. On a daily basis we can wake up, have a mental list of things to get done to prepare to go to work, then go to work and do our duties there. Often those things will become routine and we may lose interest in them. We may even get to the point where they don't take much thought.
Then we get off work and we are off to do things to keep life interesting. Our whole day may go by and we might not even think about people beyond whatever their role is in our lives" the cashier, other drivers, someone in line with us etc. We might not think about them in the sense of wanting to help them reach their potential, understand their potential or prepare for their potential. It is possible that we will let our family go by as well and just assume that all is well because it has been well.
Days can turn into weeks and months and then years. Great chunks of our life can go by without much thought beyond what amusements or embellishments we can give life to make it periodically fun or exciting. We may lose the whole picture of life. What is life's purpose and how can that purpose impact our daily life decisions? How can implementing purposeful life activities into our day give us the joy promised in the scriptures? Is that joy at least equal to the fun and excitement of amusements and available entertainment and diversions?
``It is startling how easy it is in today's busy and complex world to get caught up in the thick of thin things, to become prey to the less important. Means begin to occupy us more than ends. Making a living, being included in the best social circles, providing the family with the nice cars, lovely clothes, or extravagant travel opportunities-these may make life enjoyable and comfortable, but they are not the stuff out of which eternal happiness is made. Life is a mission and not a career.
People matter more than things. People matter more than schedules and timetables and products. God and Christ work full time in the business of people, and surely that primary labor contributes in great measure to their fullness of joy." (Robert L. Millet, Men of Valor, p22)
Most of us served missions for the Lord when we were 19, 20, 21 or so. Wasn't that one of the temptations early in the mission. To get diverted by the things around us that we hadn't experienced before. I heard of a young man serving in Chicago who loved the hot dogs there, better than at home. On my mission to Thailand, one of the early temptations was all the available cheap music. I couldn't even listen to it as a missionary but I purchased it and sent it home because it was so cheap. Letting my thoughts get caught up in what I would buy and my music collection and diverting from the people that needed the gospel all around me, including ironical those that worked in the music shop.
Then late in the mission, most missionaries want to use every minute productively, often using P-days for more teaching and service than relaxation and preparation. The missionary has learned to love the people and sees the end of his mission with fear and will use every minute to push the end away instead of bringing it on. Every person becomes more important to that missionary and he doesn't want any opportunities to pass by without his best effort to convert the world.
As men we need to recognize early the importance of each person around us and use our effort to be an example and a preparer for them to accept the truth. This of course is of utmost importance in our family. See people for who they are and not the roles they fulfill in your life. Remember our career is as "Son's of God" not whatever job we have here. This is our mission and we don't want it to be waisted away or diminished. We want to remember our mission here on this earth is all about people: Ourselves, our wife, our family, our neighbors and as we are able to expand beyond that. Remember what we are about, and don't get tangled up in the diversions or details until we forget the purpose.