By Peggy Byland
"Out of Mouths... From the Heart"
James Dobson once told the story of buying a swing set for his young children. This is how I remember it.
children were overjoyed with the swing set and the back-and-forth motion of the swings. It was a structure of beauty. The metal of the
swing set was brightly painted, the swing chains smooth, the seats without blemish. But Dr. Dobson knew the ravages of Time would
soon dull the paint, wear the chains and bruise the seats.
He planned to outwit Time. He
vowed to annually polish the paint, sand the chains and scrub the seats.
time Dr. Dobson realized the care of the swing set had out cost the pleasure of the
back-and-forth of the swings. Each spring as
he prepared the swing set against Time, the children became less interested in swinging. No amount of coaxing could restore the
back-and-forth pleasure. Now the care of the
swing set became a loathing chore of polishing, sanding and scrubbing.
the lesson for us is not to value things for themselves thinking this latest possession
will bring us lasting pleasure. An appliance
that sits on the shelf or a car that never leaves the garage for fear of dents and bruises
becomes a possession of envy and the ownership of such becomes an obsession of care. We clutter our lives with things that demand our
attention instead of things that really matter.
much better to build relationships with our time and talents. People are infinitely more valuable than things. The pleasure of the back-and-forth of life matters
more than the care of maintaining structures and schedules.
These will happen as they are needed and valued.
tells us not to be anxious about this day what it will bring or what we will need. Don't waste God's gift of time wondering how to
manage the demands of the day. God will provide.
Prayer: Holy God, help me not to dishonor you by trying to
manage your gift of time. Reassure me that
all things are in your care. I need not
I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body,
what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at
the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your
heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you
by worrying add a single hour to your life? ...
is not knowing what the future holds, but knowing who holds the future.