It’s near the turn of the year again. Wow! Time sure seems to fly by. As Carol and I were playing Scrabble last night … before I go any further, do any of you play Scrabble? How about Yahtzee, Monopoly, Life, Pictionary, Dominoes, or Balderdash? Do any of you put puzzles together? Do you eat together as a family, or as a married couple? Or is it “each person is on his own”? Are you obsessed with getting ahead in life, fearful about the direction of the stock market, or worried about what’s going to happen in the Middle-east?
I suppose my basic question is: do you, as a family, spend time together anymore, or are you individually cocooned in your own little world, worried about life, or mesmerized with your video games, tweeting, texting, or whatever else is available these days?
Let me ask another question: if you died tonight, what would you be remembered for? Stop a minute and think about it. …….. What did you come up with? Be honest with yourself: no one is listening to your thoughts except God, but you can’t fool Him anyway. What would be your legacy?
I know men and women who left much monetary gain to their families, but that didn’t earn them any greater respect or love. I know some who were famous in the scientific and/or educational fields, but the families were distant from them. I know some who were ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they, also, were rejected by their families.
One reason might be hinted at by a question a reporter asked Billy Graham years ago: “Mr. Graham, if you had your life to do over, would you change anything?”
“Yes,” replied Billy Graham, “I would probably spend less time on the road and more time with my family.”
“Why is that, sir?”
Billy’s response was misunderstood by some, but hit home to my heart. He said, “The ministry will always be there, but my family won’t be.”
Did you hear it? That comes very close to what Jesus said. It was so important that it is recorded in Matthew 26:11, Mark 14:7, and John 12:8. When Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet, at least one of the disciples was upset at her for wasting it. Judas said that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor. But Jesus said, “You will always have the poor among you, but I will not be here with you much longer.” Jesus was not denigrating true ministry, but He did put an emphasis on Christ-honoring relationships.
So, back to my question: what will you be remembered for? Five months after your funeral, after the will or trust has been settled, what will the family members say about you?
This is why I’ve invested much time playing with our kids as they were growing up, and why my Precious Carol and I play Scrabble and other games with each other now in our upper years. We are still investing into each other’s lives.
Yes, I preach or teach as the doors open, and as you know by reading this blog, I write a lot. But life should not consist of merely learning, earning, and accumulating stuff. The most important thing is growing in our relationship with God, then manifesting our faith in Jesus Christ by how we live with and treat others.
Our children are all adults now, and we have 36 grandkids – at last count. But I still greatly enjoy spending time with and investing my life into my Precious Carol. And she invests her life into me.
Now, where was I? Oh yes. We were playing Scrabble.
Although we are competitive, we have fun while using the game for learning. Therefore, we use the dictionary to look up words. At times we show each other where the other might get more points. You see, we figure that no matter who wins on a particular evening, we both win because we love each other and enjoy spending time with each other. And using the dictionary is increasing our vocabulary which helps us as we interact with society. Using the dictionary also helps us as we grow older.
As of this writing, Carol and I are tied at 401 games. That means we’ve played 802 games, and that’s only since I’ve been keeping record.
This coming year, learn to enjoy spending time with your family – you don’t know when your time on earth will come to an end. When you die, will you wake up in Jesus home … or somewhere else? Think about it.
Let’s honor Jesus in all that we do because we want to spend eternity with Him.
Happy New Year, friends.