Thursday, April 28, 2005

Take the Arrows to Work

It's been a busy past 36 hours. It seems like there's always a lot going on this time of year around our house. Church for the kids on Wednesday night is such a burden on me right up until the time we start. Then when I'm with the kids, I have a great time. It's amazing how I can feed off their energy. It's also a good thing, because me and energy exist in different time zones many days. Today is one of those days.

After youth group last night, we came home. My family had to immediately get to the TV to see who had been voted off American Idol. I really don't like the show, but since they all have to watch every week I know most everything that's going on. The house was all in an uproar when everyone's least favorite (Scott) wasn't voted off. Lots of whining and moaning around here -- some of it from the kids, although much was from my wife. I've got to admit that when Scott was singing this week, I turned away from the computer to ask the kids, "What was that awful racket?" as he missed a couple of those high notes. Still the kids would buzz about who would go and what would happen next. Finally, I pushed them off to bed.

Then today I had a long business trip to make, but I had my Sirius satellite radio to keep me company. I spent much of my time listening to the radio morning show hosted by Steve and DC. As it turned out, today was "Take Your Kids To Work Day". If I recall correctly, this began some years back as "Take Your Daughter To Work Day" with the stated purpose of exposing girls to the working world to encourage them to have their own careers. But eventually folks began to complain that boys should get the same opportunity. So "Daughter" became "Kids" and everyone lived happily ever after, right?

Nope. Many businesses prohibit you from bringing your kids to work. And rightfully so. Many jobs are not exactly "kid-friendly", if you get my drift. But Steve and DC decided that they would have the entire radio staff (somewhere between 6 and 10 adults) bring all their kids (somewhere between 6 and 100 children) and let them play in the studio while the show was on the air. The result was a radio show which sounded like it was eminating from a school playground at recess. Those morning "zoo" programs have nothing on a radio show where kids are playing kick ball in the background! One little one who was probably around 6 or 7 would scream at the top of his lungs whenever he found enough wind in his lungs to do so. I'm sure he was quite proud of himself. I'm equally sure that the hosts were about at the end of their collective rope. One single woman called in to thank the show for being her "birth control" because after this, there was no way she was going to risk pregnancy!

What I found interesting is that I really wasn't bothered by the kids noises. Oh sure, the screaming kid was pretty annoying, but the yelling and crying and fighting and such just made me feel at home. I have 13 and 11 year old boys and a 3 year old girl. What kind of noises haven't I already had to deal with? Can't scare me!

I like that verse about children being arrows in your quiver. They are indeed blessings. Sure, I might want to duct tape their mouths closed from time to time, but blessings they are. I tell people that I can remember a time when I was sitting with one boy on my right, the other boy on my left, the girl on my lap with all of us seated right across from my wife. And I remember thinking, "It's hard to imagine that heaven is going to be better than this!"

Don't get me wrong. We've had our bad moments too. But they've been few and far between. And I don't even have to wait for "Take Your Kids To Work Day" to take my kids. Two of them help me with my secular job in the summer and everybody is with me at the church on Sunday. My kids have attended meetings, gone on hospital visits, attended conferences, and sat in worship with me on numerous occasions. The boys would only want to go on "Take Your Kids To Work Day" so they could skip school.

But I'm thankful for every moment with these three. Our first child was only with us for a matter of hours before his death. These three give me a lifetime of memories every day.

A quiver full of arrows means you are ready for anything. It means that you have more than you need to contend with whatever comes your way. It means you have been blessed. "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5. (NIV)

Blessed I am.

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