I spent most of my adult life working hard to provide for my family. I thought that was the role I was to play... The provider. I did the job well for the most part, except I realized I spent most of those years wrapped up in my career as a priority. I worked too hard, too many hours, too much time away. I made money, got promotions, gained prestige in my workplace. I did many things right, but where were my priorities?
I am older and I hope a little wiser. 2017 has taught me a few lessons, the most important of which is the importance of family. I was there for some of the formative events and times in the lives of my children. I coached little league and went to school plays, but as I look back, I don't give myself high scores on being as good a father as I could have been. Yet, they still love me and support me for all my failings (and there are a few). I wont focus on those, but rather on where to next...
I am still young enough to learn and change. I can take the time to listen to them and encourage them in their life's journey. I can teach them from my errors in judgement and hope and pray that they learn without making the same mistakes I did. I can be a bigger influence on their lives by how I live today.
This past weekend I attended the memorial service for my mother. She was a rock in the storm. A calming, steadfast influence on not just my life, but also that of my brothers and my children. She taught me about God, through her actions, her faith, her hope and her serenity. But she taught me most through her love. As I look at the impact she had on me and those I know, I see what I should aspire to be. I see the model of who I need to be for those around me, not just my children, brothers and father.
I need to live "Love"... the love I wrote about in "Giving". One where I nurture growth in others and can be the anchor in the storms of life as opposed to causing the winds to blow.
May you too stop and look at your own life and the priorities you have set. May you take time out for those who are important, not just to provide, but to love.