The devotional we’re doing brought to mind a comment Jeff made last week after his current parenting class—variations of which he often says about students or kids he meets whose fathers have not been there throughout their lives: “All of these kids are so great—their dads have missed so much by not knowing them!”
The devotional is focused on chasing success and featured a quote from Thomas Merton: “If you are too obsessed with success, you will forget to live.” The author follows that line with this: We miss those parts of life we’re meant to devote to the success of others. That can certainly apply not only to people who chase success, but to those who get caught up in other ways that keep them self-focused.
Whether we’re focused on chasing success, pleasure, adventure, temporary fixes for pain, or running away from our mistakes, we can easily miss those parts of life we’re meant to devote to the success of others. As the devotional notes, we can miss spending time with spouses and kids; eating meals with family; hanging out with friends; and helping people in need.
There were times as a parent when I focused intensely on my needs (often for quiet time and space to write), but I was blessed to have the strength not to get mired in those needs—and to have a co-parent who gave me times of quiet and space to write!
Now that our kids are grown it’s tempting to focus on what we want to do or invest time chasing success and pursuing dreams we put on hold, but the phrase “devoting time to the success of others” really resonates with me. One of the ways I’d like to “run” in 2018 is by asking God to open my eyes for ways to invest in the success of others.