Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Time is Now...

There's an old quote attributed to Ben Franklin- "Nothing is certain, but death and taxes."  I'm not sure taxes are even certain to some, but that's a whole other subject for another time perhaps.  What I am certain of is this, we will all be born and we will all die.  Yet, somehow, we are all surprised when either circumstance happens.

Yesterday, I went to see my grandfather who is most likely, barring a miracle, in his last days of life.  He has lived a long good life 105 years.  He has seen much change in this world.  Living to a ripe old age of 105 doesn't change the facts for him, he was born and he will one day die.  The question is, what are you going to do with the time you have here.

Ecclesiastes 3 speaks of there being a season for all things in life.  I often hear people complain about the season they are in.  "When my kids move out, I'll..." or "When I retire, I'll.."  We are so busy looking ahead, that we have forgotten to be thankful for this day in itself.  To live it to it's fullest.

I am not asking you to quit your job and go live in some remote tribal village.  While that is certainly a worthy cause and can change many lives.  I'm thinking a little more simple, but just as life changing.  I'm saying how about today, tell your loved ones how much you care about them.  Tell them how proud you are of them.  Spend some time with your spouse, your kids, your parents, your siblings.  Call a friend you haven't spoken to in a while and say hi.

Please, please, please... invest some time in your kids lives.  You will be rewarded for it later in life.  You don't have to be perfect.  It doesn't have to be some elaborately planned event.  How about a pizza?  A hike.  A bike ride.  Bowling.  Something you can have time to talk.  Stop telling your kids that you can't wait till vacation is over or they graduate.  I am telling you right now, I know a lot of people who have adult kids that have now moved out and they miss them deeply.

Sit down with your family and have dinner.  I remember sitting with my grandparents for breakfast and dinner.  In the summer we would sit in the kitchen and have lunch.  We would listen to Paul Harvey for part of  lunch time.  We talked a lot around that kitchen table.  They learned about my school day and what was happening in my life.  I recently visited a friend who sits down with her kids every night and let's each of them recount their school day.  One of them has more time than the other each night.  I thought, "How important those kids must feel!  In a world that never slows down, they have their own little moment each day."

Recently, I went to a one day conference for youth workers called the Orange Tour.   Reggie Joiner , the founder of Orange, spoke a lot about time and our investments in kid's lives.  He said two things that I would like to share: 1.- "Love over time gives a kid a sense of worth" and 2.- "The way you love kids, while their kids, can dramatically affect their future."  I'm pretty sure that can be said for everyone in life.

Please don't wait till the end of someone's life to try to stuff in all the things you wish you could have said and done.  You will regret it.  Start now.  Don't waste another minute of your life because, as it says in James 4:14 (HCSB),  "You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes"