Itialian Job Nailed it!
My best thinking comes while showering or cutting grass. While mowing the yard yesterday, my mind wandered back to childhood. I remembered fishing with my dad and brother. I remembered the pure elation of hooking a bass and my dad’s smile while he helped me take it off the hook. These memories are seared in my mind. I’ve forgotten birthdays and Christmases. I’ve forgotten the gifts given and trips taken, but I remember spending quality time with my dad.
I asked the PAX this morning for things they remember as children. Waterboy remembers Braves games with his dad. Pescador remembers fishing with his dad, and subsequently walking off the dock and falling into the water. The common theme here was the “presence” of our loved ones. Not a single story mentioned a distracted dad. We didn’t talk about our dads being glued to their phones. We smiled at the thoughts of our dads pouring into us and focusing solely on us.
Here’s where I felt convicted. My five year old daughter has had to tell me more than once to, “please put down your phone.” You want to talk about a dagger to the heart? I’m a grown man who works hard to provide for my family. As a committed employee, I answer work emails after hours. As a selfish person, I waste time on Twitter, Facebook, and Slack. When my daughter asks me to watch a show or play a game with her, she isn’t saying “this show will change your life or this game will keep you engaged.” What she is saying is, “daddy, pay attention to me. I love you and want your attention.” I’ve said it before, kid’s spell love T-I-M-E.
As technology improves, our attention to what matters wanes. We live in a constant state of distraction. Our children need us to be present. Our children’s minds are being shaped by what we do. We are laying the foundation for their future. That’s why it matters that we disconnect from our phones and reconnect into our homes. I’m guilty as anyone, but I need to recommit to what matters: my family.
For those that read my backblasts, you know I like to leave the reader with a challenge. Should you choose to accept it, here’s what I’m suggesting – put the phone away when you get home. Social media can wait. Work will be there in the morning. Place the phone someplace inconvenient. Put it in a basket by the door. Place it on your nightstand. If it is out of sight, it is out of mind.
Kids are about to go back to school in a few weeks. Use the little time you have left to take your children fishing or to the zoo. Maybe just play ball in the yard or play in the sprinklers. Do anything that will make memories. Leave the phone out of it. You aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, so make today matter. You men are an inspiration. Be inspirational. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.
Check out Dustin Jordan (@F3_ItalianJob): https://twitter.com/F3_ItalianJob?s=09
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
2 Corinthians 5:11
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.
But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.
“Nothing is hopeless that is right.”
–Susan B. Anthony
“We are all ordinary. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. We are all helpless. It just depends on the day.”
“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.”
Anything in life that we don’t accept will simply make trouble for us until we make peace with it.”
“The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character.”
Margaret Chase Smith
“Persons of high self-esteem are not driven to make themselves superior to others; they do not seek to prove their value by measuring themselves against a comparative standard. Their joy is being who they are, not in being better than someone else.”
Daily Storytelling Time
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.
He and the dog walked towards the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, ‘Excuse me, where are we?’
‘This is Heaven, sir,’ the man answered.
‘Wow! Would you happen to have some water?’ the man asked. ‘Of course, sir. Come right in and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.’ The man gestured, and the gate began to open.’Can my friend,’ gesturing toward his dog, ‘come in, too?’ the traveler asked.
‘I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.’ The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road, which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence and as he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree, reading a book.
‘Excuse me!’ he called to the reader. ‘Do you have any water?’
‘Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there.’ The man pointed to a place that couldn’t be seen from outside the gate. ‘Come on in.’
‘How about my friend here?’ the traveler gestured to the dog. ‘There should be a bowl by the pump’ replied the man. They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.
The traveler filled the bowl, then he gave it to the dog and took a long drink himself. When they had quenched their thirst, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.
‘What do you call this place?’ the traveler asked. ‘This is Heaven,’ he answered.
‘Well, that’s confusing,’ the traveler said.’ The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’
‘Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope, that’s Hell.’
‘Doesn’t it make you mad for them to use your name like that?’ replied the traveler.
‘No! I can see how you might think so, but we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who’ll leave their best friends behind.’