I’m a horrible father. I’m dedicated to my family. I work the night shift, day shift or whatever else I need to provide for them. On the weekends, I try to get Mia before she wakes up so that my wife can catch up on some much-needed rest. I cook dinner as often as I can (I make a MEAN chicken franchese, if I do say so myself :)), do dishes and vacuum when it’s needed. I even do laundry…which, I’m told by my wife, isn’t finished until the clothes are hung up and put away. I also try to make sure we get up for church on Sunday, though we’ve been a little slack here with the job and health issues that we’ve experienced of late. Horrible father? Where?
Right here. All of the things that I do for us were completely undone by my two-year-old two nights ago. Lena and I were sitting on the couch watching Mars Needs Moms…with little ones in the house, it’s all but impossible to watch anything for anyone over the age of say 10-ish. I was getting ready to feed Mia (the baby) and was cradling her in my arm. I asked Emma (the aforementioned two-year-old), who was lying on the floor with her blankey and binky (a vice we are desperately trying to break her of) to hand me the Boppy. For those of you without kids, a Boppy is one of the greatest inventions EVER. It’s a crescent-shaped pillow that fits around your waist to support your arms while you’re holding your baby. Emma’s reply hit me in the face like a right cross from Junior Dos Santos (MMA reference there). Verbatim…”I can’t right now, Daddy. I’m busy.”
How many times have I said that to her? I can’t right now, Honey. I’m busy. And while I may have been legitimately occupied with the dishes, laundry, etc., it doesn’t change the fact that she’s heard it enough to use it against me. How many times will she use that later in life? When we want to come see our grandchildren. When I want to take her to lunch. When her kids want her to play with them.
It made me stop and think about time and how precious it is. Not just the time we spend with our families, but the time we spend living for God. How many opportunities have we missed to share His good news with someone because we were too busy? How many souls might have been saved because we took the time to let someone know that there’s a better way?
Here’s a simple yet powerful verse for you:
“You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” -Luke 12:40
The study guide deciphers God’s word in an exceptional way:
“Christ’s return at an unexpected time is not a trap, a trick by which God hopes to catch us off guard. In fact, God is delaying His return so more people will have the opportunity to follow Him (see 2 Peter 3:9). Before Christ’s return, we have time to live our beliefs to reflect Jesus’ love as we relate to others.
People who are ready for their Lord’s return are (1) not hypocritical but sincere, (2) not fearful but ready to witness, (3) not worried but trusting, (4) not greedy but generous, (5) not lazy but diligent. May your life be more like Christ’s so that when He comes, you will be ready to greet Him joyfully.”
Make the most of EVERY opportunity that God gives you to live for Him. Don’t be afraid to share your faith with someone who needs to hear about Jesus and what He did on the cross for us. Take the time to drop off a sandwich to a man begging on the street. Really say a prayer for someone in poor health instead of just telling them you’ll keep them in your prayers. Don’t miss any small opening to talk with your Heavenly Father…driving in your car, sitting on the throne, ironing your clothes, taking a shower, etc. When you begin to realize how fleeting our time on earth is, you begin to appreciate the little things a lot more.
How does this translate to our relationships? Simple. Cherish EVERY moment you spend with your family. Take the time to lay on the floor with your kids and watch TV or play a game or wrestle or kiss or hug them. When an opportunity presents itself to grab your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend around the waist and lay a big, sloppy, wet kiss on them, don’t even think twice about it. Share a cup of coffee. Share a smile. Hold hands often. Never miss the chance to make love to your spouse…to look them in the eyes and say, “I love you with all that is within me. You are my heart, my soul and my life. I thank God each and every minute of each and every day for giving you to me.”
*footnote: I’m home with the newborn today, and she’s been pretty fussy. Consequently, she’s occupied all of my time. I prayed for God to help her sleep so that I could write this post. She’s been out for a couple of hours now :D.
As is my wont, here’s another song that moves me. Make sure you listen to the words…they are so powerful! I pray they encourage you to cherish your time with God and each other more. I pray you’ll be ready when He comes. God bless.