downloadThere were a lot of things I should have done last Friday.

I had a dozen items on my to-do list, some that have dogged me for weeks. Most of the items on this list were work and ministry related, and in the morning hours, I worked at paring down the list. Soon, however, it was almost noon, and I still had unaddressed tasks remaining on the list.

There was one BIG item that stood out above all the others:  This was the day we would celebrate my daughter’s birthday, and it was a milestone one at that. She has a bit of Martha Stewart in her, so I knew she would want everything to be as close to perfect as possible. She had taken the day off to handle the preparations, and from a brief phone conversation, I surmised that help would be appreciated. So I put aside my “to do” list and decided that the rest of the day would be given to helping make her birthday party an awesome event. We spent time putting up a tent, preparing food, and putting up lights and decorations.  With the help of her friend Grant and other family members, everything was ready to go with time to spare.

And what an amazing party it was!  There are images indelibly etched in my memory, including:

•    People sharing stories and memories of our beautiful daughter and what she means to them;

•    A fantastic jam session with family and friends playing drums, bass, keys, guitar, and singing great new and classic songs;

•    Seeing friends and family dancing and singing to the music;

•    Seeing Grant and Brian out in the rain digging a trench so water wouldn’t puddle inside the tent;

•    Getting to know some of our daughter’s work colleagues and fellow cross-fit athletes;

•    Catching up with family and old friends.

At the end of the night, my daughter told me it was a perfect celebration. My heart was full.

I realized that, next to God’s presence in my life, time spent with family and people we love is a priceless treasure.

A key component of a life of worship is making wise choices that flow out of our love for God and love for others. Sometimes this means setting aside and entrusting God with the things on our personal “to do” list so that we can invest in the people God has placed in our life.

I invite you to join me in focusing on the valuable things of life, even as we faithfully work at the work God has given us to do each day. Ask Him for balance and wisdom in your daily schedule, and be alert and obedient to the opportunities He puts in our life to spend time with people who matter to Him and you. Love is always the best investment!

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God” 1 John 4:7

God bless you!
Chris Atkins

Check out my book “The Isaiah Encounter: Living An Everyday Life of Worship” at Barnes and Noble and Amazon:

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