I watch a variety of birds take turns at the feeder and boy; their life seems so simple. With a hot cup of coffee to soothe my tired, aching joints, I think about my growing up years. My mind wanders back to a different time of life.
My pop drove an hour to work, and mom supervised us getting ready for school. At the day’s end, he arrived home, exhausted, just about in time for dinner. On Sundays, my mom made sure we dressed appropriately for church – you know, starched shirt with a matching tie, and pants creased down the middle of each leg. I may have faked being sick for school, but I needed a doctor’s note from heaven to get of going to church!
But, those minute, sensitive times are well worth remembering, for much of my childhood looks vast like a morning sky. My heart pales at the thought of all those lost years. Oh sure, I can recall all my friends and the homes we moved to; but the special times of sitting on the dock by myself, waiting to see if the bobber dipped beneath the waters, supersedes any special times with my parents. The quiet minutes on a father’s lap never occurred because he was too busy trying to make my mother happy.
Today, there is nothing worse than to look at my childhood scrapbook. I wipe off the dust only to find vacant pages. Those informative years are lost, gone forever, as I stare at the empty memories which should have been time well spent with my parents. I try to apply God’s words and promises to my life. No other father has given me this kind of faith and hope! Though I can’t resurrect my childhood, God has, at least, given me a second chance in the happiness column.
I widened my horizons to include peers of every color and nationality. A glimpse into present times, reveals history seems to repeat itself in family units. An endless ambition of making a lot of money for life’s luxuries, along with a small amount of self-centeredness, is producing a lot of empty memories for many other children. With little time well spent on these kids, what will happen to them? Who will teach them love, admiration, and the enthusiasm of life? Who’s going to teach the little girl to ride her first two-wheel bike or a young boy to hit a baseball in the backyard? The most meaningful things in life do not come with instructions.
This morning, I looked in the mirror and asked myself if I raised my child, as a single parent, in time well spent? Did I raise another statistic or an accountable young man I can look up to throughout life? Only time will reveal the truth. Though kids may grow weary of our ways, they will eventually determine if we had God guiding our intentions. We must ask ourselves:
Are we leading by example?
Are we teaching them to walk in the Holy Spirit by spending time with them in the Bible?
Are we taking them to church regularly?
Does the family pray together?
Are we living by the Ten Commandments in our homes?
Are we showing them how to be strong and confident?
I pray, today, the chain of neglect (whether purposefully or not) might break, for love and God are the missing parts of time well spent in the hearts of the young today. Let us teach them the powerful expression of love!