A short time ago, as I was driving down the road, I checked my rearview mirror and saw a car racing up behind me. Coming so close, so fast, it scared me. He swerved past me and came way too close again as he went back into my lane after he passed. I wondered how long it would be until that guy caused some serious accident to himself or to other people. Then I reflected on this thought: I have been ticketed for speeding many times. Yes we’re just going to leave that at “many times”, because I’m embarrassed of how many times it has happened. Because of those tickets, I’ve involuntarily donated hundreds and hundreds of dollars to local governments that I really wish I had back. I remembered again a lesson I’ve learned over and over, and ticket after ticket: Its always better to obey the rules. Always. And the main reason for obeying the rules is this: There is peace within keeping the rules or laws.
When I was a teenager and talked to friends, I heard over and over how they were always speeding everywhere they went. I deduced from this that getting caught speeding is rare, especially if you are being “smart” about it. But when I was speeding, whether I was busted for it or not, I was always looking over my shoulder, nervous and paranoid. When driving now, always keeping the speed limit, I can drive to my destinations confidently and without any type of anxiety. I can feel peaceful.
This is not only true of the laws of the land, but its true for God’s laws as well. Although I haven’t racked up an embarrassing amount of spiritual tickets, I have spent too much time either ignoring or trying to find ways around the rules God has put in place for His children while they are on earth. For example, we are supposed to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” When I have been selfish and put myself and my wants ahead of others, I get what I want in that moment, but always regret my actions, and usually it doesn’t take long for the guilt to set in. However, when I give up something that I want for someone else, such as my time or resources, I am filled with happiness, love and joy.
(Or same video at lds.org link.)
There are consequences for every choice we make, good or bad. The ruling trend in this day and age seems to be: “Do what’s right for yourself, make yourself happy. If its within the rules, great. If not, well, you’ve got to make yourself happy first.” I see this more and more, everywhere I go it seems. Rarely do I find or hear advice to think of others or to spend time or money helping others instead of yourself. This cavalier attitude has cost so many so much. I just wish I could tell them all the lessons I learned the hard way, that obeying rules is always worth it and comes with peace of mind that is priceless.
The Prophet of our church, President Thomas S. Monson, said, “Obey the laws of God. They are given to us by a loving Heavenly Father. When they are obeyed, our lives will be more fulfilling, less complicated. Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear. We will receive the Lord’s promised blessings.”
I finally came around and grew up from trying to avoid the laws and avoid the consequences of disobeying laws, and my life is so much better for it. Not to mention my bank account. Being obedient will always pay off.
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WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:
- Drawing, “The Flash…Busted!”—www.funtastic-web.com/2012/08/flash-speeding-ticket/
- Photo, “Kids Playing Within Bounds, Staying Out Of Treacherous Waters”—www .lds.org/media-library/images/children/playing?lang=eng&start=21&end=30
- Address, “Believe, Obey, and Endure”, President Thomas S. Monson, General Young Women Meeting, Mar 2012—www .lds.org/broadcasts/article/general-young-women-meeting/2012/03/believe-obey-and-endure?lang=eng
- Photo, “Peaceful Waters, Peace Of Mind”—www .lds.org/media-library/images/sunrises-sunsets?lang=eng&start=11&end=20#sunset-with-trees-766830
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