We are in living in the midst of a very difficult time. The coronavirus is spreading across the world and is currently crippling our economy. Many businesses are closed, people are losing their jobs and those of us who are pressed into home schooling our kids for the first time are beginning to lose our minds. Someone give me an AMEN if this is you! I believe in the almighty God who created the heavens and earth and He is up to something. God is allowing this to happen. We don’t know the reason why, but I feel deep in my spirit that we can find the good in this situation. The one thing I know is that my family is spending a lot more time together.
This spring our lives got busier than ever. My wife and I have always been a proponent of having our boys play one sport per season and since they are two years apart, they rarely are on the same team. They play football in the fall, basketball in the winter, baseball in the spring and then take the summer off. Typically, as one sport is ending, the other is starting so that one bridge month is already busy. We don’t want to make our lives crazy and we value our time at the dinner table together. However, for the first time we decided to allow our older son Connor to play multiple sports in the spring.
In the month of February our two boys were on five different teams and we were running them to a practice or game usually seven days a week. Before we knew it, our family dinners that we had at least three times per week went from home cooked meals in our dining room to take out orders from local restaurants. I loved watching them play in their games, but I was not a fan of how busy we were. Then the middle of March hit and the country started to shut down. Schools were closed and all of the sports teams ended abruptly. We were now forced to slow down which has given us more time to hang out, but more important than that it put our lives in perspective. Ask yourself these two things- What are my priorities and what am I thankful for?
Priorities in Life
The coronavirus has caused many of us to rethink what is truly important in our lives. On March 1st, maybe you were the guy being aggravated by the person in front of you at the drive through while you were waiting impatiently for your $7 coffee. You found yourself cussing them under your breath while wearing your Sunday best on your way to church. Now, the coffee shop is probably closed and so is your church. It’s back to brewing your own at home while you live stream your pastor from your laptop. People are losing their jobs and if you are not one of them you should be happy that you are still employed. There are families who can’t pay their bills and end up fighting over toilet paper at the grocery store. If you have some Charmin to wipe your rear end with, consider yourself fortunate.
I only drink coffee when I’m tired and I only curse when I get angry. Unfortunately, I have been doing the latter more than ever with having our two boys at home 24/7. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that I’m perfect, and I am the first to admit that. I’m getting really good at apologizing to my family for blowing my lid and not being a good example of a leader. It is a humbling experience, but it gives my two young sons an example of what they need to do when they mess up. They don’t have to feel shame when they make a mistake. They simply ask the person for forgiveness and then go to Jesus for the same thing. The great thing about doing this is the peace it gives us.
My priorities line up like this:
- (1) Be a good example of Jesus to others
- (2) Love my wife
- (3) Love my kids
- (4) Provide for my family
What I’m Thankful For
For the past eight years I have been a minor league coach with the San Francisco Giants. They decided to not renew my contract for the 2020 season which meant the security of having a guaranteed salary this year went away unless I found a job elsewhere. None of the other 29 MLB teams offered me a job so I have been forced to put most of my efforts back into our baseball company, Cactus Athletics. In April we celebrate our 14th year in business, but over the years we have made substantially less money because I made the decision to spend more time with my family. As you can imagine having a full-time job, running a business, writing books and doing public speaking puts a strain on your family life.
I knew that being present in my family’s life was always more important than making money. It has been a grind the past three months to say the least, but God has always shown up with a last-minute client that kept us from dipping into our savings to pay the bills. His grace blows me away and as a matter of fact we still are able to put money away each month. With what is going on in the world right now I am so thankful for my family’s health and the opportunity for us to spend this extra time together. The time with our kids goes by quickly so I want to encourage all of you men to spend this time with your children. You will create memories with them over the next month that they will cherish forever.
Life has become more difficult in some ways, but at the same time it has become simpler. There are no games on TV to distract you from spending time with your family. You are not running the kids to practices and games. Your weekends consist of down time that you haven’t had maybe ever. Use this opportunity to do things that you’ve thought about, but never done. Go buy some lumber and build something with your kids. Head to the backyard and plant a garden. Give everyone a power tool and turn your front yard into a mecca that will draw the envy of all your neighbors. Get to know your wife again. SPEND TIME TOGETHER, because guess what, if you are practicing the social distancing that our world in preaching, you don’t really have any other alternative.
“Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”1 Thessalonians 5:18 (BSB)
Here are some things to think about this week and apply to your life:
- Search for the good things in life during this difficult time.
- Spend more time with your family and reach out to loved ones.
- Find a great book and finish it by the end of April.
- Bless someone who is in financial need.
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