Elbow Room and Alarm Clocks


In bed the alarm rings, I feel as if my body is 180 lbs. of cement.  God whispers, What did you expect? You haven’t taken a day off in 12 days.


That morning I asked:

Do I have to run quickly to and fro?
Do I have to get up today and go?
I’d rather throw bed sheets over my head
Or visit the zoo with my boys instead
I’d hand my to-dos to a wart-covered toad
And chat with a neighbor just down the road.
I’d rather run in the fields of my youth
I’d rather be 20, to tell you the truth
I’d rather sneak off with a tall stack of books
And give the librarian puzzling looks
I rather discuss life with a glass of ice tea
With someone as incredibly burned out as me.
I rather hike the Grand Canyon today
But I don’t have gas money so guess that I’ll stay.

Life, in an average 21st Century family, blows out of our window at 150 miles an hour. We barely give ourselves the elbowroom to really succeed. I know that this is a major character flaw of many guys. As men, husbands, dads and employees, we instinctively find our self-worth in doing more than just being. Sometimes I wonder how many opportunities I missed because of the words; “have to” “ought to” and “gotta”? God meant for you to leave room for him to work. If we don’t our prayer life, our parenting, our marriage, our future all suffer.

Our best days are marked in moments that usually don’t happen because we had more important things to do.  We look at our kids, in every life stage, and wonder if they’ll ever grow up and then, before we know it, we realize… they did.

Every man I know seems to think he has a warp-speed button. Perhaps that’s why we love the idea of superpowers and action heroes. I must confess I press the warp-speed button far too often. But the reverse gear is nonexistent. We don’t get any do-overs for yesterday.

So from today on, I promise to look at all the incredible blessings that are buried under my to-do lists, agendas, and behind the billboards that blur across the windshield as I shift into fifth on the open road.

I will try to give more than I get. I can’t keep it anyway. God is planning a huge end-of-the-earth bonfire. Even the antique doilies my wife bought for next-to-nothing on e-Bay will be ashes.

I will make it job #1 to hang on for dear life to my family, my friends, my mission, and my Jesus. Everything else I’ll move to the back of the line.

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