“You have planted much but harvested little. You eat but never have enough. You drink but never have your fill. You put on clothes but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it. This is what the Lord Almighty says, “Give careful thought to your ways.” Haggai 1: 5-7 NIV
The word “alignment” has been on my mind today. I was thinking about how my prayer life focuses on things that worry me. We know people who are struggling with health, finances, and purpose. Mary and I are no exceptions to these struggles. A friend sent these verses to me this evening, and it has me wondering if I am giving careful thought to my ways.
I think I am content. But after running through two days of knocking on doors, the sales were slim this week, and I was grumbling to myself. I am getting older, and I can tell. My knees scream randomly throughout the day. I weigh too much. I do not have as much of anything suitable as money, time, or talent. But unfortunately, my measuring cup is not always what God wants me to use.
I have been blessed with a good job, a beautiful family, and a future that I look forward to daily. But is that why I am here? God can use all of those things. However, God can also use the lack of all of those things. God can use whatever He wants. How about me?
One of my favorite days of the year is coming up this week. I love being a dad. In each phase of life, I get to watch them. But, I can also wonder if I have done enough to help them or teach them in each stage. If I were given a chance to live all over again, I would do quite a few things differently. But as a dad, I would live slower.
Guys, we can work, earn opportunities, collect and save and build. We can strive. But the more we do those things, the harder it is to be present in the lives that make us the most important thing we are, a dad.
If I were advising any dad, one getting ready for Father’s Day number 1 or number 27, I would say go slow. Enjoy every single minute you can. Use the measuring cup of the lives you have been loaned to train. They grow up and shine brighter than anything you may ever do. Enjoy it.
You will see other people working more hours. Some people will have more cash than you. Some will buy a bigger house or a more excellent car than you. Some will wonder how in the world you can spend so much time in Claire’s looking at plastic jewelry. Let them wonder.
The best advice for a new dad is to lead by example. You can teach your kids how to laugh, how to build, and how to think. You can teach them that there is no greater goal than to figure out what it is that God wants them to do. You really can impact a generation of people by simply turning down the noise and loving them.
Did you know there is more to this article?
I’ve had to make a lot of career choices around my family, not just kids. I could be doing double or triple my current salary had I taken some positions that would have put me at 50-75% travel. The experience would have been great and the money would be very welcome, but the loss of my family would have hurt more than anything. I’ve placed myself in a very comfortable, but not very progressive, position where I’m working from home 100% of the time and all of the bills are paid. We started homeschooling the kids and we get to do things during the day. I would not trade my son’s new ritual of coming into my office when he wakes up to say “Good Morning” and give me a hug for all the money in the world.
Spending time on purpose, I like that. I made a conscious decision to do that at an early age with my son, and I’m glad that I did. With any relationship, what we put in is what we get out of it. God bless.