Last night, my wife and kids met me after work and we went to get dinner together. After navigating the insanely oxymoronic time of “rush hour” in Raleigh, we were finally seated around a table together, me and my tribe.
My head was spinning from the drive over, my son was talking non-stop about the latest craze in Legos, my middle one telling me about her first violin ( or fiddle, if you ask her) lesson, my eldest was being a pre-teen critic of most things, and my wife looked like she was glad just to have another adult set of hands, eyes, and ears there to help out after a busy day.
But before you think I’m complaining, let me tell you what hit me. What we were doing was a beautiful thing that has sadly become rare in these days: the family dinner table. The whole crew gathered in one place, talking to and listening to one another. Laughing together, joking together…enteracting.
Far too often this gift of time together has been replaced with distraction (first the TV, now the cell phone), with distance, with busyness. Oh, we’re guilty, too. It’s easy to do. It’s easy to get sucked into other things and miss, no, neglect the greater things, the simpler things.
I sat there last night listening to our kids’ talk about their day, their interests, their problems, and realized just how precious that time is. My eldest is 9 going on 19, and our relationship is rapidly changing. Just yesterday, she was daddy’s little girl. Now she’s becoming more and more independent of ol’ dad. I want to cherish the time I have with her, and also every moment I have with my other two.
Psalm 127:3 says
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”
Unfortunately, many of us don’t treat them that way, nor cherish the time we have with them. Some make the mistake of trading busyness, doing things with their kids, keeping their kids involved in everything under the sun, but spend no time actually getting to know their kids.
Time goes too quick to throw away the precious with the waste of technology, of Twitter, of Facebook and Instagram, of email and text. Too precious to throw it away with pursuits that will never profit, with pastimes that have no lasting impact.
Those things can wait. Time won’t.
So make the most of it.