It’s way too easy to get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent and in the process lose our perspective. Work, school, chores, meetings, activities and the like can demand our attention and distract us from what’s important. Funny isn’t it, the reason we are involved in all of these activities is because of their importance and the importance of others to us, and yet they can serve as a powerful distraction. Work is important, because we need to provide for our families, school is important because we need and education, and certainly one way in which we serve our family is through our many important, yet somewhat mundane, list of chores. Bringing home a paycheck, helping with homework, doing laundry, cooking a meal, mowing the yard, when we do these things we are serving our family, which of course communicates love. But sometimes we get so caught up in the busyness of the acts of service that we forget the very reason why we do them in the first place. We may go days without a meaningful embrace, sharing a laugh, or just simply saying “I love you.”
Recently I’ve been dubbing our old VHS and 8mm home videos to DVD. This has afforded me a wonderful opportunity to take pause and appreciate the time I have had with my children, and for my younger two to remind me of how much more video we have of Kaylyn (our oldest). It warms my heart to watch Lisa and I playing with the kids, Maggie’s first steps, Jonathon building an obstacle course in the back yard and Lisa and I racing through it, and all those hours of Kaylyn just lying on the floor cooing. I don’t regret the time spent and the memories secured. But I’ve noticed something else I hadn’t expected as I’ve watched these glimpses into our past, an awareness of responsibility that has held me accountable to continue to make those deliberate choices to spend time with my family, working, playing, serving and relaxing together.
When the kids were young I sort of naively thought that it would get less busy when we didn’t have diapers to change and mouths to spoon feed, but the busyness doesn’t change it just takes on a new form. And in that lies a subtle threat to quality family time. As our children grow and their activities and interest outside the home command more of their time and attention, it’s so easy to get caught up in the juggling of schedules to not take time and sometimes make time to enjoy together. Watching these old videos has served as a not so subtle reminder to me just how fast time goes and how important it is to make the most of each moment. After all a well worn, yet never obsolete adage reminds us that you spell love T I M E.
Reminding you to take T I M E to stop and smell the roses, even when they smell like dirty diapers or burnt pop tarts.