sharper focus “Precious moments”

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By Victor Leslie, Lt Col.

The day she was born was one of the most contemplative and enigmatic days in my life. Her “Nana” and I had traveled over 2,454 miles from Jamaica to Phoenix, just to see her new face and hug her and kiss her. This breath of fresh air, baby Maleah, elicited the supreme delight of welcoming her into the world and reactivated the insatiable pleasure of becoming grandparents.

But this time, beside the unrestrained joy originally felt at the birth of our first grandchild, Adrielle, and now repeated in the jubilation of Maleah’s birth, there was a tinge of sadness. Soon, we would have to leave her and be gone, not knowing when we would see her in person again.

Some may say that with all of today’s communication technology we have options for instant interaction. But it seems delusional to think that FaceTime and Facebook could replace the social interaction and natural affection that comes from being physically present. Spending live time with family is where love and nurturing occurs, where communal skills are learned, where values and beliefs are developed, and where we gel with each other as we play together, pray together, and produce together the experiences that forever shape our lives. These things cannot occur if relationships are left to develop through the medium of technology. It may be that as a result of these technological advances we have more lonely people residing together without knowing and relating to one another.

From the beginning when God created man, he said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” So he created woman as a partner, and then he blessed them and told them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen. 1:28). God intended that we be relational in our daily journeys. We may not get to pick our parents, siblings, children or grandchildren, but we do get to choose how we relate to each other, how we invest in belonging to the family circle and how we express the warmth and unconditional love that binds us together.

Being close and intimate in real life with our family is without comparison and just simply precious. Each moment we have to touch a life is a moment to treasure, a moment to teach, a moment to linger, a moment to bless and a moment to love. Make every effort to add to your living: definite moments of conversation, laughter, tears, positive interaction or whatever it takes to have undivided time with family members. It pays huge dividends! We already know that the only moments we are promised are those we have now. James says in 4:14, You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. So choose to dedicate and cherish and make moments of significance with your family.

Hear this: If any do not take care of their relatives, especially the members of their own family, they have denied the faith and are worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim. 5:8). Are you forfeiting precious moments with your children just to bring home a few extra dollars? Do you discount the daily opportunities to provide godly counsel to the next generation? Are you setting aside time in your over-packed schedule to create personal, interactive memories with your spouse, children and grandchildren? Did you postpone again the visit or call to your sister or brother? Or are you simply too busy to stop for a moment and put your priorities in the right order?

Press the pause button! It does not have to be that way. Make the time! Family is a worthwhile commitment. That’s why we just made the 2,454-mile journey back to Phoenix, to celebrate Maleah’s first birthday, to enjoy some priceless bonding time with Adrielle and to unwrap the gift of amazing, precious moments with our family.

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