I have been on vacation for the last two weeks. During this time I turned off my email feature on my phone and refused to pay for WIFI service at our hotel. While we were away I had spotty service on my phone, so I was only able to post a couple of times on Facebook. I am a little surprised, but I didn’t die from not having contact with the outside world. The church didn’t come crashing down without me being here to “hold everything together.” My computer and iPad didn’t self destruct from a lack of use. And I didn’t suffer one minute of boredom from having to spend all my time with my wife and son!
I honestly had a great time, well except for Shirley and William dragging me to the “World’s Largest McDonald’s.” It was nice to be together uninterrupted and just enjoy each other’s company. Several times my son said how glad he was that I didn’t have to go to work and that we were able to be together so much.
I used to imagine all the things I wanted to give my family—new cars, fancy homes, elaborate vacations, all the best toys, or anything else their hearts desired. Over the years I have discovered all they really want is for us to have time together. Don’t get me wrong, William would love to have almost every toy that you can find in Wal-Mart or Toys R Us. But what he wants most of all is for me to play games with him. When he gets a new toy he wants us to enjoy it together.
Shirley is the same way, oh yes she enjoys her time alone; however, what she really wants is for us to have time together. It may be watching a moving, enjoying a game, racing Hot Wheels, playing with trains, or any number of things just so long as we do it together.
This type of relationship takes a lot of special attention, determination, and commitment. You have to decide that your family, the people right in front of you, are more important than those you are networking with socially. You have to give of yourself, seek to impart joy in someone else, and realize the importance of your family. That is what I learned from this vacation. There is always going to be stress, busy schedules, email, Facebook, Twitter, smart phones, tablets, cable, and many other distractions. Nevertheless, there is nothing more important than people; especially those right in front of you.
This time away with my family would not have been possible had it not been for several people in my life who knew the importance of me taking some time off. These friends hold me accountable. They know that I cannot lead our church family if I am not leading my personal family. So, I want to thank my church staff and the deacons for filling in for me in my absence. I also want to thank our church family for allowing me to get away, rest, and enjoy some time with my family.