The Abiding Fathers blog is a collection of works from our founder, Bill Dotson, along with stories from guest bloggers, providing help for fathers.
Do you ever feel like your whole life is spinning out of control, everything’s just slipping away? Your kids are growing up way too fast, the career choice has consumed you, and maybe the relationship with your bride and sweetheart is not what it used to be. The wheels appear to be falling off and you don’t seem to have any control!! Then you are like so many men caught up in the fast-paced American culture.
It’s more than scary, it’s downright overwhelming! You find yourself tinkering with what appears to be solutions to some of the issues, but just as you seem to have one thing fixed (or it appears), another tire blows out. You say; “I go to church whenever possible, I pray when I’m there, and I don’t run around on my wife. I love my family but they seem to be growing more distant every passing day. How does one juggle all the requirements of a job plus being a father and husband? It’s so exhausting! Stop the madness!”
I might ask a question right about here. Is it possible you have taken it all upon yourself, Mr. Hero? Maybe it is time to stop, reassess the important versus the urgent and lighten the load. Invite your family in on your travail. Of course, they are already experiencing your out-of-control life. Do you think it has been easy on any of them?
Make a detailed list of everything in which you are engaged. On one page, list all the things that occupy your time. Then, on another sheet, prayerfully categorize them into three columns; 1) important 2) less important 3) unimportant. You might have some that fall into the gray area. Set them aside and start focusing on the main time consuming ones.
In this order, also prioritize them. Relationship with…
Now, examine the things you MUST do in light of the choices you have made and ELIMINATE the others in order of importance. You might want to use a 1-10 selection criteria for each. Saying NO to the items of low importance at this point is invaluable. Should God want to add anything back into your life schedule, He will make a way for you to include it. But be careful to not fall prey to the urgent again; and guard your time to accomplish the important.
While writing this message, my wife showed me a lead article by Cheryl Hall in the Dallas Morning News-Business section (2/23/15). Mark Layman, CEO of Balfour Beatty Construction US was interviewed and in the article he was quoted as saying; “I preach to our strongest, most valuable, but highly professionally driven folks that you can’t define success as succeeding professionally but costing personally. This is a warped model. You’re going to deal with the urgent and miss the important.” He gives his associates the book– Choosing to Cheat: Who Wins When Family and Work Collide? (Author, Andy Stanley)
My life verse just seems to keep jumping out and speaking volumes about this. The context is about striving and worrying about the basics—food, clothing and shelter. Listen to what Jesus says—“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘what shall we drink?’ or ‘what shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its on things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”
Now, sit back, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and rejoice in your new-found time and the freedom to live it victoriously. Our lives will cease from ‘slipping away’ as we live out the important and not the urgent. Join with me, starting today!!