Yesterday, I read a blog post by Chris Lema with this title and it piqued my interest. Chris writes about business and new product development and innovation but he writes in an simple, engaging manner that even I can understand.
So, since Father's Day arrives this Sunday, I read his post with interest. (You can check it out yourself if you're interested... here.)
The influence of a father
He recalls memories of his family and, in particular, the influence of his dad, unmeasured at the time, that impacted his lifelong outlook, his attitude and his focus in work and family life.
You can read part of it below....
When I was a kid, my parents would occasionally take us out to dinner. Sometimes it was Pioneer Chicken. Other times McDonalds. And a few times we went to Taco Bell.This was back in the days when the restaurants looked like a bell (late 70′s). But one day we went to a different Taco Bell and this time the restaurant looked a lot like the ones you may have seen recently.
An important question
Chris concludes his article with a question, not an answer. It's a question that he asks of his readers in a professional context, but also challenges each of us in the personal arena of family life. It's a question that I pose to fathers now.
'Are you asking the right questions in front of the right people (read here- family) to spur on their curiosity and challenge them to keep learning and growing?"
Mmmm... tough one.... even now, in retrospect as a father of grown children and now a grandfather, I struggle with this challenge. As parents, as fathers, as grandfathers, are we living out our faith with our kids, and grandkids, day by day? Are we encouraging them to apply God's promises and principles of living as they interact with their friends and family? Are we spurring them on to keep learning and growing in their Christian faith and understanding? Are we challenging them to measure and evaluate the culture, rather than merely accepting and accommodating our beliefs to fit in?
As with Chris, I believe it's a lot harder to live out. But the benefits are indeed long-term, even eternal. What memories of you will your children retain and hold dear? What impact are you having on your kids in small, but important ways day by day?
I used to start each day while it was still dark but lately, the faintest glow of dawn is edging over the horizon as I make that first cup of coffee. It won’t be long before we will be altering our clocks for daylight savings. It always reminds me of the reader who complained to the newspaper, ‘That extra hour of sunlight will fade my curtains!”
Time is an intriguing subject, and so slippery. On some occasions, like holidays, it just slips by but when you are waiting or looking forward to an important date and want it to zip by, it drags. Also.. some of us can stay longer in an hour than others can in a week. And have you noticed how quickly deadlines arrive?
Robert D. Smith once titled an article he’d written, 'Everyone who reads this post will die.' It certainly grabs your attention and although it's true, perhaps it might discourage you from reading. The point of his article, though, was to encourage his readers to re-evaluate their use of their time and see whether there may be ways to add purpose and meaning to daily activities.
There’s a Youtube clip that I’d like to share with you titled, ‘The time you have.. in jellybeans’. Take a look at the clip below- it portrays your life as a counted heap of jellybeans. It’s amazing, and a little sobering to see the pile of jellybeans disappearing in often meaningless activities.
'Help us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.' Psalm 90:12
The Bible encourages us to examine our use of the time allotted to each of us. Everyone complains that they have no time.. no time to help in ministry.. no time to connect with others … no time to read more or learn more. We all have the same number of minutes and hours in a day. But perhaps there are ways that we can plan our time for greater impact.
What if I watch half as much TV- I would have another 1338 days. Maybe I could use my time more wisely by listening to podcasts and audio books while travelling. I could enjoy more of my meals with others and create memorable experiences with family, and build connection and community with others. I can spend time developing teams and leaders to share the load of ministry rather than doing everything myself.
How can you alter your day and your activities for greater impact?
If you had just one more day, how would you spend it?
Church planting and growth has been a focus for most of my ministry. I frequently lecture and speak on church planting and have been actively involved in many church plants. Under God's hand and direction, my wife, Kaye, and I planted the