When the world shut down in 2020, I remember working even more vigorously than I had before, missing moments with my kids who were only an arm’s length away. I was always focused on the clock. I found myself consumed with trying to stay in touch with everyone when we could no longer see them in person. I felt stress and pressure that I was missing things because information was spread everywhere digitally, and we could no longer sit around a table and discuss things together.
The Posture and Cadence of Jesus
About a month into the pandemic, I found myself having anxiety for the first time ever. I remember sitting on the kitchen floor, trying to catch my breath, tile everywhere around me from a very ambitious self-renovation job in our kitchen, experiencing a full-blown panic attack. As I began to count each breath, one after the other for mere seconds a piece, I heard the Lord whisper in his still, small voice, “Priorities.” I was immediately reminded of how Jesus walked through life, not with a busyness mindset, but in a way that allowed people to see his priorities through his posture and cadence.
One thing I tell people often, because I learned it myself, is: show me what you do with your time and that will reveal your priorities.
A story that stands out to me is Jesus on his way to heal a man’s daughter, when a woman sick with a bleeding disease reaches through the dense crowd to touch his robe.
Mark 5:30-32 tells us, “Immediately Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ His disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing against you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ But he was looking around to see who had done this.”
Jesus Made Time Because People Matter
Jesus, on a journey to heal a man’s sick daughter—which seems pretty time pressing and important—stops in the midst of a crowd because he felt healing power leave him. Someone who had been outcast, unseen, unloved, humiliated, and alienated from everyone around her most of her life needed a moment of his time. Jesus made time because people matter.
The deal is, we all have people in our lives who need a moment of our time, but we must prioritize our time to maximize it. My family is my first ministry. I can only take care of the fold that God has given me as a campus pastor when I am leading myself closer to Jesus. This allows me to be able to lead my family and others into his presence.
The deal is, we all have people in our lives who need a moment of our time, but we must prioritize our time to maximize it.
So, if I may, what are you prioritizing in your life that is making it impossible to balance your work and family? Are you choosing to make your family your first ministry?
Do an inventory of the things you give your time to regularly. Determine what is nonnegotiable, and what needs to go. One thing I tell people often, because I learned it myself, is: show me what you do with your time and that will reveal your priorities. The truth is, being a parent is hard work. Being a dad is hard work. Dads, join me in the fight to prioritize your family above all else. Jobs come and go, seasons change, but your family’s memories hold moments that will last a lifetime.