I just got back from one of the best vacations of my life. No, I didn’t go to an exotic location or spend a month unwinding. I took my oldest son, Isaiah, on a four-day camping trip to Indian Lake State Park with some friends.
I got emotional a number of times as I thought about and recounted the camping trip, and this caused me to do some reflection. The care and generosity of my fellow campers, who were more experienced than I at this, was a big factor in making the vacation special. The great weather was nice. The time away from my normal routine was valuable. Atop the list of blessings, though, was the chance to be with and care for my son for four days.
Since my wife was not along on this particular trip (our youngest is in two casts for a couple more weeks), I really had to be attentive to Isaiah’s needs. I couldn’t take my eye off him for very long. I had to entertain him with various activities throughout the day. I prepared all his meals. This might seem like it would be a challenging time. Actually, I did find it challenging, but wonderful.
You see, I have found that some of the best times I have with my sons are the times in which I am focused on serving them. Maybe you have noticed something similar in your relationships. The times when I am most intent on having what I want and pursuing my own interests, I often find myself strangely unfulfilled. When I serve my family, though this involves sacrifice, I find great joy.
This is even more the case when I get to serve them in the midst of a shared experience that is fun for everyone involved. How much better can life get than holding your sleepy son in the late-evening sun, looking out on a lake and wading in the water?
I guess Jesus was right when He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 HCSB)! Let’s look to do more giving and less receiving today, men.
Have you had a memorable serving experience with family or someone else?
(EDITOR’S NOTE—Photo: Nate & Nicki Woller)