Sometimes the sheer amount of information and communication that is readily available today is just mind boggling. If you ever eat at a food court in one of the big shopping malls it is astounding to see how many people are texting on their cell phones. How quickly things can change in just one life time.
I am 71 years old now and I am mindful that the precious days, hours and minutes are not limitless. Funny how that seldom comes to mind when you are young. Getting older has a habit of making you rethink about life priorities and what is really valuable and important. One of our grand daughters turned one year old recently and aside from her being just utterly adorable, it reminded me of the value of family and what a gift that children are. Being a grandparent affords you the opportunity of actually enjoying just being in their presence and seeing the wonder of youth. When you are the parent, sometimes all you can do is keep your head above water. We raised five children so in hindsight, the years seemed to go by fast. Way too fast.
Sometimes I review my life and I have a hard time thinking about all the time that I wasted and the mistakes that I made. For me, life really began when I sat on a steps of a military barracks in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada as a young man and asked God to show Himself to me. The marvel of it all is that He did. I also met the love of my life and after an extended courtship we got married. Didn’t have a clue about so many things. Made so many mistakes. When you are young and married and trying to keep your head above water, it is so easy to get your priorities backwards. Being a father to your children and a good husband is not an easy task in our busy, look out for yourself world. Likewise being a mother to your children and a good wife. I could have done so many things so much better but at the time I thought I had my priorities straight. I thought I was balanced. In hindsight it is a marvel that we made it through at all and but for the grace of God we so easily couldn’t have. God was always there, waiting.
The grace of God intervened so many times, via a conviction to do something, received during prayer, via a word from God about what was important, what needed to be taken into consideration, about His perspective. But I didn’t listen near as much as I should have and I often ignored doing what I knew was right. And yet God still stayed with us and waited. The needless pain that could have been avoided, life’s lessons from God that could have been learned so much sooner. Love is such a small word yet it encompasses so many aspects of our lives. The love that a husband has for his wife (and vice versa), the love that a parent has for their children, our hopes and our dreams. And most importantly, the love that God has for us and that we can actually have for God.
Seeing your children grow up and have families of their own gives you a different perspective on so many things. Learning that even though you have learned somethings during your walk through the same years your children are now going through, most times this learning can’t be passed onto them, they have to learn for themselves, in their own time and usually in their own way. I marvel at God’s patience with us and that He doesn’t give up on us. He is always there, waiting.
Experiencing the separation (sometimes minute) that comes when a son or daughter takes a wife or husband and becomes involved in their own family can hurt. I did the same with my relationship with God. Yet He waited. God’s family here on earth is just as important as our personal families. Balance with priorities is the key.
With all the information that we have at our fingertips it becomes important to learn how to filter the information, much like we do with our Email accounts. What information can I Trash, what should I follow up on and what needs immediate attention. That’s where our priorities come into play, where balance is needed, where value is determined. God, family and work. These are the priorities. If family gets precedence then God and work suffer. If work gets precedence then God and family suffer. I wish I had learned this earlier. It is so easy to get these out of order. Priority with balance. If you truly put God first, He will guide you to ensure that your family and work requirements are addressed.
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”
Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”
Ephesians 4:28 “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”
One of the benefits of getting older is that you do have more time to do the things that you actually want to do. There is more time to study God’s word, more time to pray, more time to help others. More time to look back in hindsight and see where you went wrong. I am so thankful that I serve a merciful loving God.