In our fast-paced society, it's easy to lose sight of the things we should be truly valuing. What we choose to value is measured by what our heart and mind has defined as wealth.
To better illustrate what I’m talking about, let me share with you a quick story taken from an experience I had with my daughters several years back. As I drove them to school one morning, they requested to hear a story told by the best story-teller they knew – their daddy.
In my best whimsical voice I began. “Once upon a time, there was a family of ducks who were enjoying their pond. Suddenly, one of the baby ducks noticed something in the water… a snake!
'Hi,' said the snake, 'I’m Henry the snake, and I’d like to be your friend.' The little duck didn’t see a problem with this, but oh, mama duck sure did. She quickly swooped down, grabbed the snake, flew far away and dropped Henry in the middle of a meadow.
Well, Henry was scared because he’d never before been away from home. While slithering along a path trying to find his way back to the pond, he heard something rustling in the tall grass. His eyes got real big and his heart started to pound faster and faster. When, out popped a Badger, and…"
“Daddy, wait!” interrupted my precocious young daughter. “Was it a Honey Badger or an American Badger?”
Totally taken off guard by her question, I couldn’t help but laugh. Then, I realized, she was asking this question not only out of her love and study of animals, but because I had succeeded in passing my inherent love of nature on to my daughter. This moment of connection between us is a heartwarming memory and one I will always cherish.
It may surprise you, but I credit this bonding moment I had with my daughter to the economic challenges we experienced here in America a few years ago. These challenges brought me back home to my family, and caused me to reflect on what really matters most in life. The truth is, many times when I drove my daughters to school before this particular morning, my attention was more focused on news radio and listening to hear the latest stock report than it was on my girls sitting quietly in the backseat.
God tells us in his word, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
” (Ecclesiastes 3:1
He also says, “Children are a heritage of the LORD”(Psalm 127:3
These two scriptures really spoke deep into my heart the importance of passing personal elements of my life down to my children. Once I realized the call of God to treasure home, family, and time, I started behaving differently. You may be asking, how do we treasure these three things? Let me break down what God has showed me personally.
Don’t take the burdens or stresses of work home in the evenings or on weekends. Home is a respite, a place where we find rest and renewal for our minds, bodies, and souls. It is a special place provided by God for the family pleasure.
Don’t take family for granted. Place high value on creating memorable experiences with family, friends, and loved ones, rather than thinking an expensive gift will suffice. Honor and respect should become the foundation of all communication as family members learn to treat others the way they desire to be treated.
We are only guaranteed this moment. The number one thing they cherish is your time. The return on investment of time spent on people and things that truly matter is of far greater than the things of the world.
I have come to realize the greatest treasure is not found in the sum total of my bank accounts, investments, and returns. The eyes of my daughter as she stumped her Dad about a badger has convinced me that real value is in the hearts and vision that my girls have for their future life. The importance of home, family, and utilizing my time with my family will have a generational impact that will carry well into the future after my time is complete. That is a treasure worth passing on.
Publication date: June 22, 2015