Just one day can make the difference in a life wasted and one that leaves a legacy that will outlive us all.
By Dennis Rainey
Driving home one night after work I switched on the radio to catch the news. In an uncharacteristic moment of sincerity, the disc jockey made a statement that sliced through the fog of fatigue I felt from the day: “I hope you did something of value today. You wasted a whole day if you didn’t.”
His statement struck me abruptly. Maybe it was because I had just spent most of the day solving some of the problems of a growing ministry. Fortunately I felt pretty good about how I had invested my time that day.
Or perhaps it was because of where I was heading. In 10 minutes I would be home where one lovely lady and six pairs of beady little eyes would want and need my attention.
Would I do something of value with them tonight?
It’s just one night, and besides, I’m exhausted, I thought. Then I pondered how one night added to another, 365 times, adds up to a year. The nights and the years seem to be passing with an increasing velocity.
“I hope you did something of value today. You wasted a whole day if you didn’t.” It echoed in my thoughts as I drove through the darkness.
Five minutes more and I’d be home.
I’ll bet there are other men like me who are really tired right now, I thought. I wondered how they would respond to the question if they heard it.
A moment of pride struck me. I bet I do better than average with my kids.
But another thought lingered in my mind: Did God call me to be merely a better-than-average husband and father? Or to be obedient and to excel?
Living above average
To be better than average, all you have to do is beat the masses—a step ahead of the herd, so to speak. Not much challenge there.
But to be obedient and to excel, well, that means I’ve got to be a disciple … deny myself … take up my cross … and obey … even when I’m tired and whipped by the day’s draining events.
Is my audience man or God? Where do I want the applause? Heaven or earth?
One night. What will I accomplish? Will I waste it spending all evening in front of the television?
It’s just one night. Another night to build a legacy. What will my legacy be?
I struggled over the lure of “just one evening” of selfishness—to do my own thing. But what if Barbara had a similar attitude? Then who would carry the baton?
What kind of heritage and legacy would I impart? Selfishness? Or selflessness?
One minute, and I’ll be home.
Just one night, Lord. It’s just one night. And then the same angel that wrestled Jacob to the ground pinned me with a half nelson as I drove into the garage.
Okay, okay. I give. You’ve got me. Being a Christian parent is not always easy in this narcissistic culture.
Just one night
As the kids surrounded my car like a band of banshees whooping and screaming, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!” I was glad on this night I had made the right choice.
At supper, rather than just graz