[youtube id="F2bk_9T482g"] As my family and I drove home from a parade in the town next to ours, I was flooded with childhood memories from when my mom and dad took my sister and I to parades in our hometown. I love how my dad really did the little things that meant so much to me. As I reflect on these things, my father is 86 years old and lives in assisted living near my sister nine hours away from me. He is Parkinson's Disease and is slipping daily both literally and figuratively. My mom went home (to Heaven) in March of 2011 and I cannot believe how time flies by.
I posted this video from the movie UP as my family and I watched the end of this movie right before bedtime for the girls. I YouTube'd the video and found the beginning of their relationship until the end. There is a great secular book called, Tuesday's with Maurie, and there is a line from the book that says, "Death ends and life but not a friendship". That is so true both in the secular world and in the spiritual world. There is so much of my parents good in me that I cannot even begin to count the blessings. Of course, there are things that I wished that I could have had throughout my childhood that I didn't and things that I wished that I could have avoided and didn't - the pain that came with it but wasn't prepared spiritually by my dad (he wasn't a Christian at those times).
I think when we treat each day as a gift rather than a burden we can begin to move toward a posture of gratitude and respect for the One who gives it to us each and every day. Life is a gift and our breaths are numbered by the Creator who knows when each of us have an appointment to die. There are simple truths in life that no matter what we do cannot be avoided - death and taxes and the Judgement of God. With all this being said, time flies by. 1 Peter 3:7, "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." James 4:14, "Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes."
I remember when I was a boy there was a lady friend who was very affluent and she took kindly to me and my education. Her nickname was Miss Lee (that is what all the kids called her when she was a teacher). She was also an antique dealer who was doing work for my parents and she made me promise that I would finish college and also pursue my Masters Degree (which I did) and in turn of this promise she ended up gifting me my room with some collectibles that she gave to me free of charge. My wife and I to this day use that Clerk's Desk in our family room. Miss Lee said one thing very provocative to me, "Dante, make the best use of your time, because when you blink, you will be my age." I always took that comment at a glance, but the older I get, the taller my children become and the gray in my hair are constant reminders of her truth.
What does this mean for our legacy dads? What is this post saying to you? For me, it is simple, there are things that have been slapping me upside the head this week that have become almost comical in my life and it is forcing me to practice what I preach on this blog.
- ...play more with my children
- ...read more with my children
- ...read more with my wife (more devotions and conversations)
- ...be more active in leading both physically and spiritually
- ...make the best use of my time through work, chores, playtime and rest
I will not...
- ...surrender time to my IPAD or Desktop or Computer
- ...waste time for lazy pleasure
- ...settle for mediocrity
- ...turn away from God by wasting my time
When I think of how fast things are moving by me, I can choose to be a reactive parent or a proactive parent, husband and leader of my family. The only regret that I want on my tombstone is that my loved ones say that they wish more people would have gotten to know the influence I had in their lives. The more people that could have looked a my life and instead of seeing me - they see the love of Jesus.
For me and my house, we choose to serve the Lord with all of our time, talent and treasure!!!
What is your choice today?