I have a financial advisor that oversees my retirement accounts. Occasionally, I’ll watch the chart tick up and down with the ebb and flow of the market, wondering if my investment will pay off.
On a personal level, I invest in myself. I read books, take courses, eat well, and join the gym.
On a spiritual level, I invest in a relationship with God. I read His Word, I journal, and I pray.
But, I’m reminded this morning of one investment whose dividends are a legacy of generations yet to come. Curiously, it is the very investment that I am most tempted to ignore.
This is an investment in my children.
If there are little people in your life, you’re familiar with the never-ending question:
Just the other day, I was getting ready for a long run. Before I left, I was met by a certain inquisitive three-year-old.
Where are you going, Daddy?
I’m going for a run, buddy. I’ve got to get ready for my race.
Can I come with you, Daddy?
Well buddy, I would love for you to, but you’re still a little too young.
Well buddy, you’ve got to grow up a little bit before you can run.
When I get older I’m going to race like you.
That sounds awesome! And I’ll be there cheering for you, Matthew.
As the years have passed, the challenges of parenting have changed, almost with the seasons. What a pacifier or bottle could fix, now requires a completely different set of resources. Resources that I often seem to lack and tools I don’t often possess.
Truthfully, I’m impatient, unintentional, preoccupied, and selfish. All of those characteristics are things I’m ashamed of and I desperately don’t want my kids learning those qualities from me. But, when I assess my actions, those are the themes I see.
Take an assessment of your time and attention. Who gets more, your cellphone or your children?
You may have heard this ad-nauseum, but it doesn’t seem to be going away.
Additionally, there’s a certain pressure in this understanding; a pressure that brings about insecurities, fear, and shame. That pressure, if we let it, will crush us.
While this pressure can be crushing, we can also use it for good. We can force ourselves to become more intentional about our everyday life; remind ourselves to think through the little details.
During my run the other day, it hit me. Even when I don’t think I am leading my kids, I am. Even when I don’t think they’re watching, they are.
Everything I do matters.
By implication, everything you do matters as well.
So many times the whys of a three-year-old have a tendency to interrupt our pace of life, interfere with our agenda, and ruin our big picture. The whys can become annoying.
That is why we must change our perspective.
The whys aren’t an interruption, they’re an invitation. An invitation to invest in our sons and daughters.
Our children’s whys are a longing to learn. They are thirsting for knowledge.
If we fail, someone will invest in our children. A quick glance at popular culture today will prove that there are countless opportunities for our kids to learn from someone.
Who will it be?
I know these moments will pass by and years down the road a big picture will come into focus. Only in time, will we see the return on our investment—the adults our children have become.
That is why I will invest today and everyday.
And I’d challenge you to do the same.
Questions: What special ways do you invest with your kids? If you don’t have kids, are there young people in your life that you pour into? Please share in the comments below!
1. Use a Why to listen – Make the investment of time
2. Use a Why to teach – Make the investment of wisdom
3. Use a Why to learn – Make the investment in yourself
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