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There’s a Lesson In This Somewhere

Fitting the right things into every day is difficult. As I sit in my office, I stare at a lot of different responsibilities. I have hanging on the back of my door some pictures my kids have drawn for me, reminding me of my responsibility to them. I have perched on the edge of my desk a picture of my wife, reminding me that I have duties to support and love her. To my right, I have a wall of books, all religious in nature. Commentaries, introductions, Greek and Hebrew grammars, topical studies, and so many other tools remind me to be studying deep into the word of God. On one section of my wall hang my diplomas, a constant reminder of the work I’ve chosen to devote myself to and the training God has blessed me with. To my left is a file cabinet ready to be filled with files of real estate clients, reminding my of my obligation to help them find homes they love and in which their families can grow. Directly in front of me is a couch, reminding me of my counseling duties to my brothers, sisters, and others who might need my ear and some direction from God from His Word. Above me to the left is a stained ceiling, reminding me of my duties to care for this home God has blessed us with and the long (and growing longer) list of “honey-do” items I’ve still not yet accomplished. Above my head are a line of guitars reminding me to relax, not that my fingers have plucked those strings since camp. Hundreds of duties. Dozens of directions. One life.

How do we fit it all in? How do we find time, energy, and enough focus to get any of these massive responsibilities taken care of so that we might move on to something else? The best answer I can come up with is sacrifice. For many of us, we prioritize our lives and then we sacrifice that which is lowest on the list. For me, that tends to be relaxing with my guitars. I love playing. I love singing and writing songs. I find guitar to be a great release for my stress and an incredible creative outlet for my brain. But, it only benefits me. So it gets left behind. There are too many other things more important. We all make these decisions. What vacations have you foregone? What hobbies do you do too little so you can do more of what seems to matter more? This isn’t a bad decisions, or something to mourn.

I see this often with moms. They give themselves so thoroughly to their kids that they rarely ever have time to themselves. How cliche is the image of small fingers reaching under the bathroom door to get to mom, even in those few seconds of privacy and solitude? Moms rarely get a break. This is because they sacrifice.

I see this often with dads. They go to work, deal with difficult bosses and clients, and then come home and immediately become the center of their children’s attention. They give all day to strangers, and then they come home and give all evening to their families. They sacrifice.

Neither mom or dad regrets their decision when all is said and done. They sacrifice their time, their energy, and their resources because they love those children. It is worthwhile, not because the children deserve it, but because mom and dad want to give it. Mom and dad know they need to give it if their children will have everything they might need.

I’m pretty sure there’s a lesson about God in this somewhere (cf. John 3.16).