One day we will all come to the same conclusion. For some of us it will be an easy step, for others difficult, and unfortunately for some the decision is forced by a terrible life circumstance; the conclusion that life is not all about us.
Today with a very heavy and torn heart I have resigned as a member of the Board of Directors for two different organizations. Luckily for me it was a conclusion I wasn’t forced in to making. It was a decision I made after speaking with my wife and a few trusted friends. I realized I wanted and needed to make a change. Let me clarify the “want to”. It’s not that I really wanted to not be involved, it was that I really want to be involved with my family.
Often life can grab us like a fast moving current. We get involved because we believe it’s the right thing to do, maybe because our ego won’t let us do otherwise, or maybe we are involved because we just like being wanted. Whatever the case, it can be easy to become swept away and soon in over our head’s.
Last night my wife told me that our oldest son’s soccer team was going to be cancelled because they couldn’t find a coach. It didn’t take much time for me to realize that I am giving valuable time to people that in a day, a week, a year or a decade will forget that I even existed. Maybe they don’t care that I do now. Very quickly the hypocrisy of my life glared me in the face. You see I believe in working hard (I’m going to have to work harder now that I’m not as present), I believe in doing a good job and believe in being involved in our community. However, I also believe that I am first a husband and father. You see life isn’t about me anymore. There is a time in your life that you can build your own ego, your own social status and your own brand. When my first son was born 7 years ago my life stopped being about me.
The truth is I will die and fade to dust. God willing my sons will continue on with their families, and their children will continue on and so the circle of life goes. Investing my time in the people that will be around much longer than I will seems to be the right focus. It’s a parent’s job (some of the many) to love, groom and raise our kids to be loving, committed and involved people. At this point it seems to reason that if I focus on myself I’m really only investing in the next 50 years. Putting energy into my family is an investment for generations to come.
What are you investing in? What are you chasing? Egos and insecurities might allow you to have nicer things, but the world doesn’t need nicer things. The world needs nicer people. My sons need to know that their dad love’s them. My wife needs to know I will do anything for her. My family needs to see an example of balance and love, and that they are a priority. They need my attention and I’m willing to make the changes to make that happen. It’s not easy. There is immediate payoff when you have an awesome title and can be seen at the who’s who of events. I’d rather wait for the long term payoffs, recognizing there will be plenty of short term payoffs and memories along the way (just not the kind that inflate my ego).
The book of Timothy in the Message says “But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble.” The more you get, the more you have to stress over and about. Freedom isn’t in a title or money, it’s in love. Love always wins and I’m looking forward to having a lot of freedom and time to spend with the ones I love most.