Christian Living
By Lynette Hagin

"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be Like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." -Isaiah 58:11 (NIV 1984)

Wow! The years are flying by so rapidly. It seems impossible that we have entered the 13th year of this century. The beginning of a year is always a good time to make adjustments in our lives and to reassess our values. It is a good time to decide, "Are there changes that I need to make? Do I need to tune up some things?"

After a certain number of miles, our cars need servicing. And if we keep them for an extended period of time, the moment comes when they need some fine-tuning and adjustments, the tires must be changed and the brakes checked, and so forth.

In the same way, as we live our lives, we must realize that we need to periodically do some fine-tuning. As I make these assessments, I am amazed at the wise words that can come from children. My youngest grandson constantly surprises me with the wisdom that comes from his mouth.

All of my grandsons are involved in sports. And my husband, their Poppy, will not hesitate to tell you that they are all good in every sport. In fact, when each of them was born, the first gift that he brought to them while they were still in the hospital was a ball. Being the sports fanatic that he is, he is proud of their talent in that area. He goes to all of their games when we are in town. Some Saturdays, his entire day is spent going to ball games. But he enjoys every minute of it. He is making lasting memories for them and setting them an example.

At the end of football season and with basketball season approaching, my youngest grandson, Wesley, said to his mom, "I'm taking a season off from sports so I can live my life." Of course, his parents got a real laugh from that statement, coming from an 8-year-old.

In the midst of being amused myself at Wesley's words, I began to meditate on what he had said. I thought, "Wow, he is wiser than most adults." Wesley realized that his whole life was consumed with sports, and there were more things that he needed to focus on.

I encourage you to assess what you are focusing on. Are you building your life on temporal things? Or are you focusing on eternal things?

We can all get caught up in the hectic schedule of life and spend our time and money on things that give temporary pleasure. All of us are experiencing different seasons in life.

My husband and I are now in the empty-nest season. However, I look back on the many family times that we had with our children when they were younger. And I listen with satisfaction when I hear them reminisce about those times.

My husband and I determined that when we had children, we were going to enjoy every phase of their lives. We wanted them to excel in school. We wanted to prepare them for adulthood, but not at the expense of enjoying their childhood and teen years. Of course, education was a priority. But we did not expect them to maintain such a high level of academic performance that there was no time for recreational activities.

Our children look back fondly at the vacations that we took. One special memory for them was the year we asked them where they wanted to go. They both agreed that they wanted an amusement park vacation. My husband and children enjoy roller coasters and other thrill rides. They are not my cup of tea, but we granted their request and went to four amusement parks that year. We traveled from Texas to Kansas to Missouri, and even to Ohio, to go to the amusement parks that had the best roller coasters. Needless to say, I held their belongings more than I rode rides. But we still talk about that vacation, even though it occurred many years ago.

I encourage you to de-clutter your life this year. Decide what your priorities should be. Of course, our most important priority should be God—to place Him first and make Him the center of our homes. We should emphasize to our children the importance of attending church, and we should be godly examples for them to follow. When we put God at the top of our list, everything else will fall into place. Whatever season of life you are in, I encourage you to enjoy it. Make memories that will be your legacy in years to come.