Hitting Pause: A Priority Check
Last December, Urban Meyer cited family as the main reason for stepping down as head coach of the University of Florida football team. Even though this news is over two months old, I believe that his core message (from the press conference) is of lasting importance. While I don’t have the same things pulling me in my life that Meyer did, I do feel that I can relate to his situation as a husband, father, and friend.
The challenge for me today is this: what things do I place in front of the relationships that mean the most to me?
As some of you may or may not know, I am in the middle of a job transition. I am leaving the company I’ve only worked for on Friday (almost 7 years) and joining another the middle of next week. To be honest, it’s both scary and exciting! This is an opportunity that I have been waiting for, and am thrilled to be given the chance to succeed in an area I’m truly passionate about (details forthcoming).
With the longer commute and increased responsibilities, I need to ask myself a couple questions: how will this impact the people I love the most (namely my wife and children)? What am I going to do about it?
My wife read me a quote the other day by Michael W. Smith, that I feel is wholly appropriate: “My life isn’t defined by my music. Music is my vocation. My life is characterized by my relationship with God and my family.” While I am far from a professional musician, you get the point. I want to leave a legacy that is marked by Jesus’ call to, “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:19-20). I want to be remembered for how I invested my time into people, not “things”. I want to pursue relationships, make decisions, and give generously in light of the Kingdom. In five years, will I be saying to myself, “I can’t get that time back”? I sure hope not. Today, I’m evaluating my commitment to God, my wife, and kids. Here are three things that I plan on doing over the course of the next three months:
1. Stay regular with God. Everything funnels through this discipline. The time I spend with God directly impacts the other relationships I place value in.
2. Date my wife. Especially with the new baby coming in a couple months, I want me wife to know that I still cherish uninterrupted time with her. I am committed to taking her out and spending “date” time twice a month, just me and her. Also, a friend of mine suggested “couch time”–the first 10 minutes of my time home after work is dedicated to my wife, where we can just talk on the couch.
3. Engage my children. When I come home from work, I want to try to give them my undivided attention. There will be times later in the evening or the next morning, to check e-mail. Put that blasted phone away! I want to slow down and take time to truly hear them and respond… I want them to know that they matter.
As a disclosure, my family is truly excited about this opportunity for me. My wife is the ultimate “I’m in your corner no matter what” kind of partner. To be honest, it would be hard to do much of anything if it wasn’t for the unbelievable support I get from her every single day. With that being said, I need a gut/motive-check from time to time. My prayer is that, through it all, I would be intentional to not to sacrifice my work for my family.
Photo credit: josephleenovak