I love my job. I really do. Now that I am here, I can't imagine doing anything else. After years of running from what I knew God wanted me to be doing, I can't imagine going back. Sometimes though, I love my job too much. There are times when I don't think about my family when I schedule events for our ministry. I let me wife look at the calendar and help me, but I will override her and do it anyways. Luckily, that part is getting better. I am trying to look at the calendar as a whole and seeing how many weekends I am going in a month or how many nights per week I am out.
Often times because I enjoy my job, I allow it to take away from my family. Sometimes I spend too much time with students or I am in the office too much. Events can seen to take over the calendar very quickly. Looking at this summer, every other week I have some event that I am supposed to be a part of. A few of them take me out of the state. This takes a ton of time away from my family because I see the need in these events rather than investing in my own family.
A sad tale I will confess to is that we have not allowed our children to do sports because we couldn't find the time in our schedule. I have known families that move heaven and earth for their child to play a sport but we never got into it. We didn't want to get sucked into the culture that say our children need to be actively involved in a sport almost everyday and if they miss a practice or game for any reason, they should be off the team. We as parents can become obsessed with the success of our own children, so we continually pushing them to do more sports, to be more competitive and more of a winner. Often times this obsession take over our life and pushes everything else out. Family vacations become trips to sports camps (insert activity here if not sports). Church because something we do when we aren't involved somewhere else.
When I was growing up, I used to race BMX. I wasn't incredibly good at it, but it was something I enjoyed. We missed church at least one weekend a month (if not more) to go out of town and participate in state races. As we did this, it became easier for me to skip church, even when we weren't out of town. On top of that, I also went to a private Christian school, so I thought I didn't need to go to church also. All of this combined to make it easier for me to find excuses to miss church when I was on my own in college.
Thankfully, my children have learned to like church and enjoy attending. When we miss, they let us know it. We do our best to keep them active in church and involved in programs that they like. I have also begun to work through my calendar and adjust it so that I am home as much as possible. My first priority is to my family, then to my ministry and I need to begin living like that.
My Challenge to You: What does your family calendar look like? Are you busy 7 days a week? Do you find yourself missing church often because of sports/concerts/camps? Talk as a family to decide what you can do to eliminate some of the busyness of your life. Maybe it is limited your children to just one sport or saying no to another band.
My Prayer: God makes all of us long for you more than anything else. Let us find our joy in spending time with our family and our church family.