Posted by: everynation | May 23, 2008

Leaving a Godly Legacy

by Ron Miller

The first key to leaving a Godly legacy is the father’s time.

Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

These verses challenge us to invest our time wisely. Nobody on his deathbed ever said: “I wish I had spent more time at the office.” Today, if anyone needs to maximize their time, it’s we dads with our children!

There are two key words from verse 16 that command our attention. The first is “time” (Greek word, kairos) which refers not to clock or calendar time (that’s a different Greek word, chronos), but to a unique opportunity within time to do something significant. It signifies a moment in time—a one time, passing opportunity—that is most strategic and pivotal. As this relates to fathering, the Bible is saying, “Take advantage of the time that you have with your children while you have it. You will never have this moment again.”

Kodak produced a commercial featuring a series of snapshots of a father with his daughter. As different pictures flashed on the screen, string music played in the background, while a singer croons, “These are the times of your life.”

Kodak did a phenomenal job depicting truth and capturing the reality of how quick our children grow up. Click, your child is born. Click, your child takes their first step. Clip, your child learns to ride a bike. Click, your child graduates high school. Click, your child graduates college. Click, your child gets married. Listen, the message is clear. They’ll be gone before you know it!

These snapshots of time with our children are quickly passing and are irretrievable and irreplaceable. The camera is clicking whether we’re ready or not. And there are only so many snapshots left on the roll. We must make every opportunity count!

In order to make the most of our time, we must cut out many good things in our schedule to make room for the best things.

Film maker Walt Disney was ruthless in cutting out anything that was good if it competed with what was best. Ward Kimball, one of the animators for Snow White, recalls working 240 days n a 4 ½ minute sequence in which the dwarfs made soup for Snow White and almost destroyed the kitchen in the process. Disney thought it was funny, but he decided the scene stopped the flow of the picture, so out it went. Only by sacrificing good things could the film be the best.

That’s how we must be! When the film of our lives is played by God on the final day, will it be as great as it might be? It will depend upon whether or not we eliminated good things in order to make way for the “great” things God wanted to do with our children.

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Wise is the father who maximizes his time and captures his opportunities with his children. We only have so much time, so we must make the most of it.

There is a second key word in Ephesians 5:16 (exagorazo), translated “make the most of,” which requires our attention. It means “to buy something out of the marketplace.” In the King James Version, it is translated “redeem.” The word was used in ancient times of buying a slave in the open market and by paying a purchase price. What Paul is getting at here is, we must buy up what opportunities we have with our children like a valuable commodity.

We must redeem these moments while we have them. No matter how mundane to us, they are very monumental to our children.

At the constant request of his young son, a busy dad took a day off to go fishing. It was just the two of them. Leaving behind a desk cluttered with unfinished business, the father drove to a secluded lake where they spent the day together fishing, rowing, talking, and fishing some more.

Throughout the day, all the father could think about was the pressing deadlines that he had left behind, the many phone calls to return, the projects to complete, the assignments to finish and the meeting to make.

Years later, their two diaries were discovered as each recorded what the day had meant to them. In the father’s journal was recorded, “Took my son fishing. Another day lost.” But in the boy’s diary, the entry read, “Spent the day with dad. It was one of the greatest days of my life.”

Unlike money, time comes to all of us in equal amounts. In fact, everyone has the same amount—twenty fours hours a day. However, we are all confronted with a wide variety of choices in our use of that time. In the final analysis, how we use our time depends upon our priorities. We must make the time for what we think is important.

A number of years ago, Dr. Robert Schuller was on a whirlwind book promotion tour, visiting eight cities in four days. It was an exhausting schedule in addition to the normal duties Dr. Schuller had on his shoulders as pastor of a large church. As he was going over his schedule with his secretary for his return home, she reminded him that he was scheduled to have lunch with the winner of a charity raffle. Schuller was suddenly sobered when he found out the winner of the raffle, for he happened to know that the $500 the person bid to have lunch with him represented that person’s entire life savings. How did he know that? The person was his own teenage daughter.

The legacy will never be passed on to our children without the wise investment of our most precious commodity—time. Dads, buy up the time while you can. It is critically important that we begin today with this responsibility of preparing a legacy for our children. The best preparation for tomorrow is the right use of today. Time is more valuable than money because time is irreplaceable.

Let us begin with today because: They will be gone before you know it.

Ron Miller, Jr. is a gym rat who blogs regularly at Gym Chats. He is a husband, father, artist and musician stuck in an athletic body, and the senior pastor of Every Nation, Tallahassee.

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Responses

  1. Great stuff Ron. Every busy dad needs this kind or reminder. Time cannot be kept in a bottle. We have to make the most of what we have NOW! Children matter and they will not wait until we have a moment to spare. We must make time.

    ElderGee


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