Life Happens Fast. Slow Down!
One the greatest challenges everyone faces in your life-work, whether you're in ministry: or whether you have a nine-to-five job in the marketplace: whether your a school teacher: whatever you do everyone struggles with work-family balance. As one of the greatest questions I get when I'm talking to leaders and coaching people, often the question pops up after talking about what's going on in their life, what's going on the world. I then often hear this, “Ryan, how do I balance what's going on at work and at home?” And I'm going to tell you there is not a better question you could be asking.
I’m currently coming from my minivan on vacation, and normally this van has three kids sitting in the back with Beth sitting next to me, and there is a lot of action that happens in this van: a lot of activity, a lot of talk, and fighting at times. Right? There is a lot of conversation happening inside this minivan. What I haul in here is indeed my most precious cargo: my family. These three girls in the back of the van are my three most important disciples. How am I making sure I'm doing right by them as a ministry leader? This is a question we all need to wrestle with. And it's a tough one, but I want to encourage you with a thought today. And that is your kids are going to grow up, and they are going to grow up so fast. My mom and dad always told me that. “Ryan, I can't believe how fast life has happened.” And I am telling you I am learning that! I am almost in my mid-forties, and I'm learning life happens fast. I'm blinking and these girls are growing up, and here is where I'm at in my life. I am willing to take my foot off the accelerator in certain areas of my life, so that these girls and my marriage can be a priority. I have decided I'm not going to travel as much at this point in my life. I'm not. There were things like golf; I'm not going to golf right now because I don't want to be out one or two nights a week or be out in the morning when they're getting ready for school. There are some decisions I’m not going to make right now. I'm not telling you if you travel or you golf that you’re a deadbeat parent. No. What I'm saying is this, there are some businesses I would like to start and there are some things I would like to do, but I have decided that I'm going to put it on hold for a little bit because my girls are growing up, and they're growing up way too fast.
Don't ever beat yourself up for choosing to stay at home. Don't ever beat yourself up for choosing not to take that over-time that's being offered to you. Don't ever beat yourself up for choosing not to join that board or to saying no to that trip. Why is it okay to say no to these things? Because these kids grow up way too fast. Those watching this video with gray hair and your kids have grown up, I know what you're doing. I can see you nodding your head saying, “you're exactly right. They grow up way too fast.”
Andy Stanley wrote a book several years ago called Choosing to Cheat, and his point was this: that there are things we all want to do in our life. There are goals we set. There are goals at home, at work, with our health and wellness, and with extracurriculars. The thing is, we're never going to be able to do everything we want to do. So if you're going to cheat somewhere, his point is don't cheat your kids, right? If you are going to cheat, cheat at work or cheat at your golf game or cheat with your travel, but don't cheat your kids. So that's my challenge for you today: don't feel bad for taking your foot off the accelerator and slowing down a little bit so that you can spend some time where it really matters and that's at home.
I get that the struggle is real. It goes back to the Garden of Eden, where God put a wedding ring on Adam's one hand and a shovel in the other. And like me, you've got a marriage and you’ve got a family, figure it out. Right? The challenge is real but listen. The good news is God will help you, and you can choose to live by your priorities and by your choices. You set your priorities, you set your choices, and then you choose to stick with them. And don't ever apologize for saying no, which doesn't have to mean forever, it can just mean I'm saying no right now because of other priorities in my life, especially these kids, these grandkids, and these relationships that matter the most.
Your #1 fan,