Many years ago I had a friend who was always cleaning her house. If we talked on the phone, she couldn't talk long because she had to clean. If we were volunteering for something at our children's school, she couldn't help long because she had to clean. I would tease and say her house must have been the cleanest house in town! I loved that sweet friend and the times we shared.
One day that sweet friend found out she had cancer. From then on, any phone call we had revolved around spiritual matters, family matters, important matters....not about cleaning the house. That friend passed away after a hard-fought battle of treatments that eventually didn't work. She would say how that clean house she always kept didn't matter any more and that her family and God was was mattered. Oh, I miss that sweet friend! But I remember her attitude. It was always positive.
As I was washing dishes a few days ago (that had been on the counter and in the sink for 24 hours), I was thinking about how for many, that would be horrible. To have dishes sit overnight wouldn't ever happen. I'll admit that it happens quite often in our home. For the most part I wash them in the morning after the younger two leave for school, but sometimes do wash them at night.
I could have washed those dishes during the previous afternoon and missed out on time with my husband's family at our Christmas get-together. I could have washed all of those dishes late that night instead of playing dominos with my family. I could have gotten up earlier on the last "sleep later" day and washed them. I could have washed them that next morning instead of watching the Rose Parade with a few of my children. But I didn't. I waited until we ate our late lunch and cleaned it all up then.
Here's the deal....dishes will always be there to wash. These children, these family times, the family time we had with extended family members yesterday will not always be there. I've come to realize that there are work-focused people and people-focused people. There's a time to work - absolutely! But when it comes to people, think about the fact that special times won't always be there. This moment when our two college kids and two younger ones are home will not be here much longer. In fact, this was probably the very last one since our daughter will graduate from college in May.
Will that pile of dishes matter to me when I think back on memories of this recent break or will the people who I spent it with matter? It's an easy answer. The dishes can wait a while. People can't. Spend time on what matters....on WHO matters. Be available for people.
When I think of Jesus, he worked. He served. But he took the time to love people. He should be our example in all things.
Finer Grounds: Nehemiah 13
1 day ago