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A Lesson in Checkers
Photo: Hemera
“Dad, will you play checkers with me?” It was a request that took me totally off guard considering all that I had to do. My first thought was to say “No” to my son and get back to my pressing work, but the look in his eyes told me that a game of checkers was more important than anything else I had to accomplish that evening. I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t even know he knew how to play the game.

We got out the board and played that evening, and I have to admit it was fun. After the game I held him on my lap and talked with him about things that are important. Things like his concern over whether his cat would have her kittens while we were out of town, or whether I thought he would make a good carpenter when he grew up.

I realized in those few short moments that what my six year old really wanted from me was my time. It wasn’t about a game of checkers; it was about spending time together. I guess I knew that all along but I just became too busy to really stop and think about it. I made up my mind then and there to begin spending more time with all three of my kids, because with children, quality time is quantity time.

He always made time for people

Jesus was a very busy person. Listen to the Bible explain just how full His schedule was:

“There are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each one of them, one by one, I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books” (John 21:25).

I don’t ever recall my schedule being that clogged, and I am certain that Christ’s “divine daytimer” contained more important items than I’ll ever have to encounter.

And yet, with all He had going on He still had time for children. He took the time to cuddle them, listen to them, and play with them. What an example for parents everywhere, and especially for me.

If you’re a busy parent, life can often become so hectic that you lose your focus on what is really important. But God can help us re-prioritize our schedules to include healthy blocks of time for our children. With God’s help it can become a reality. They need it, and so do we.

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the THE MESSAGE / REMIX ®

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