I’m sure that you’ve already realized this, but it’s been three weeks since I’ve posted anything. I know that you must be feeling forgotten and sore with disappointment that you haven’t had new content to read. (If you don’t feel that way, at least nod along with my delusion.) However, the fault is not mine. Is it ever!? You can place the blame and the brunt of your clearly justified anger upon the heads of my wife and kids. It’s totally their fault.
Each week, my goal is to write an encouraging article, praying that it will be a blessing to readers. Occasionally, life gets unusually busy and I miss a week. However, I have never missed three weeks in a row, until now that is. This travesty happened because my family recently conspired against me and forced me to take them on vacation. I know what you’re thinking – how rude!
Hopefully you know that I’m kidding, and really didn’t mind one bit taking some time off from all my activities to be with them. However, if I’m being honest, I have found it hard at times to let go of my other responsibilities in order to be totally present with them. Let me give an example.
On one of the last days of our vacation, we took advantage of some glorious weather and drove to a nearby lake for some fun in the sun. We walked along the beach, had fun trying not to tip over in a kayak, and grilled enough hot dogs to feed a small army. After we ate, I sat in the shade and watched my boys play with some new friends on the beach and my wife lounge on a floaty in the water.
I should have enjoyed that moment thoroughly, but instead thoughts of incomplete projects and yet to be addressed tasks invaded my mind and stole my joy. For a few minutes, I was overwhelmed, almost to the point of becoming angry, as I realized that my already overloaded schedule would now be even worse because of this time I had taken off. For the briefest of moments, I looked at the scene before me and saw it as nothing more than a wasted day.
Thankfully, this was when God decided to step in and gently correct my wayward heart. I discerned no specific message, nor did a particular Bible verse jump into my mind, but in the blink of an eye God caused me to see things differently, as they truly were. No longer was this trip getting in the way of me being able to get things done, but instead it was allowing me a break from the daily pressures I often face. No longer did I see my family as something that was pulling me away from important projects, but I realized that that projects had been pulling me away from my family. No longer was this a wasted day, but instead I saw that it was a day of making precious memories that would live long past the stresses that awaited me at home.
I’m not proud of those negative feelings, but I admit them in the hopes that they might serve as a valuable reminder for the next time you begin to let your to-do list keep you from more important things. There will always be a million things that need your attention, and just like me, I know you feel the pressure when those begin to mount higher and higher. However, take a moment to ask yourself whether any of those things will matter one bit 6 days, 6 months, or 6 years from now. Instead, look for something you can do that will have that kind of lasting impact.
In other words, walk past the basket of dirty clothes or the dirty dishes, leave work at 5 o’clock even if there are still items to be completed, and put away the phone even though it beckons for your attention, and spend time making lasting memories with those precious people God has placed in your life. Even better, spend some quality time worshiping at the feet of your Savior, for any day spent doing things such as these will never be a day wasted.
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God…Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you…Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; (Psalm 84:1-2,4,10 NIV)