The other night we were watching American Ninja Warrior with the kids. It was a bit of treat as we hardly ever watch them. They have loved the competition of the Olympics and find shows like Wipeout hilarious, so this was right in their niche.
It is rather incredible what those men and women are able to do I must say. They were interviewing one gentleman before his run. He basically said that his kids had grown up and moved out and he was looking for something to do with his time, so he took up training. This is no ordinary training mind you. This is hours of training each and every day. I told the kids than once they all move out, they could be assured Dad would not take up being a ninja!
It struck me as rather sad that this man decided to spend so much of his time and energy doing something that is, in the end, rather pointless. Given, I do not know how he balances his life, it was just a short clip, but a ninja competitor, really?
Then I started thinking about my own family and our lives. Yes, we haven’t taken it quite to the extreme as that gentleman, but I had to question how much of our schedule revolves around sports. Sports season is starting up, we all feel the pull that practices and games place on our families’ lives
I love sports and believe that sports has much to teach our children. Hard work, teamwork, sacrifice, good sportsmanship and on and on. But it seems that sports has gone to a whole new level of craziness these days and we have been just as guilty about falling into the trap. Do we make time to be family anymore on the weekends? Do we even make time for God on Sunday? It used to be Sunday mornings were sacred and nothing was scheduled on them. This is far from the case now. What are we teaching our children if we will drive an hour to a sports competition, but won’t carve out time to worship God on Sunday in church?
Families are the cell blocks of society. We must have healthy families to have a healthy society. We can see how much the family is suffering by just looking at our world around us today. I am thankful for the gift of my large family because it has forced me to realize that I cannot spend an undue amount of time on sports. It is just too difficult to go to endless games with little ones and it’s not fair on them to have them in a gym all day. It has definitely been a growing pain, and we haven’t gotten it all figured out yet. What we do know is we need to do less. We need to have more time to be a family. We need more time on Sunday to just enjoy each other’s company. We need to make more time to serve God and our neighbor together.
When I am an empty nester, when my children in time become empty nesters, I pray that we are not filling our time with the fading things of this world. I pray that we are able to spend more time serving those less fortunate than ourselves. I pray that we still make time to be together as a family. I pray that we make more time to spend in prayer.
The devil is subtle and doesn’t lure us away from God with something that is outwardly obviously sinful. He does it slowly with things we rationalize as being healthy and good. We take one step, then another, and another. Before we realize it we look around and find ourselves in a dark place and wonder how ever got there.
My hope for my family, and all families, is that we can take an honest look at our life and ask some hard questions. What do my children think is the most important thing in this world? What will my children remember their Sundays being? Where do we spend the majority of our time as a family? We all know what the answers to those questions should be. Now, I have to make sure we live it so my children know as well. JMJ