“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” – Deuteronomy 6:4-9
This blog is designed to be, primarily, inspirational. The writing is all about encouragement, lift, spark, stimulus, catalyst – my whole “Live Like you Mean it” credo. Life, Gratitude, Faith, & Passion is my version of “the three r’s” – something you Read that hopefully Resonates, and then leads to some kind of Response. Read; resonate; respond.
So as a general rule I’m not in the advice giving business. But I’ve got some to share today if you’re willing to hear it. Ready? Here it is:
“Grab hold of your family tight, and love them with absolutely everything that you’ve got!”
I thought about it Friday afternoon, when we loaded The Campbell Four (“TCF”) into their Subaru and waved them off. It’s not like they live way far away in Connecticut any more (when we were living in Florida it was almost a 1,300 mile trek to see one another), but time together is precious – it’s important enough to be more than deliberate. It’s important enough to be a foundational value.
We live in a time and a culture where “what is valuable” seems to have been upended and stood on its head.
- Huge emphasis is placed on material stuff that does very little to provide meaning or joy;
- “Success” is a narrow and limiting concept that fails to account for the exact reason we were created and what our purpose is as children of God;
- Families are pressured into committing unreasonable amounts of time and money for activities that until recently were fun, informal, and free;
- Parents and children find themselves exhausted at the end of the weekend rather than replenished and renewed.
The family and the faith community are the most important foundational elements of a balanced, productive, positive society. Yet both essentials fail to command our full attention. In consequence, vital resources are redirected to fund priorities and “values” that consistently fail to satisfy our souls, to nourish our families, or to add anything of lasting worth to our lives as pilgrims along this road we are traveling.
The family and the faith community are the most important foundational elements of a balanced, productive, positive society.
I thought of all of this – and more – while Naomi and Craig’s white Subaru reversed up our driveway and into the cul-de-sac. We have each other, and we have our church family. In my book that ranks us among the “uber-blessed.”
Commitment is the most valuable tool we have at our disposal when it comes to making sure our lives are full, meaningful, joyful, and wonderful beyond measure. So let’s make sure we’re committing ourselves to the right things.
The faith community. The family. Don’t be fooled by the pressure to reallocate. Put your time, and your intention, and your resources where it counts.
– In love, and because of love – DEREK