As I get older, and progress towards getting established and getting married, I am starting to wish I had got an earlier start on things. Looking at a meager amount of funds and comparing to the prices of a big-bad money crazed world, it gets a little depressing trying to envision raising a family.
Of course, I am trying to get things ready. I work on projects of my own to bring in money, I work here and there on other jobs to bring in funds, but it doesn't add it very fast, or at least not as fast as I would like.
I am beginning to wish I had gotten a gander on things a few years ago, had the *vision* to start saving more money, do more to get a business going, get started in a trade etc. I sorta played my life away and now I am trying to serious about things and am wishing I had gotten serious sooner.
Oh sure, I didn't do stupid, wasteful things, and didn't completely fool away my 20 years, it's just that I wasn't focused. I wasn't focused on marriage, work, jobs, income, etc. I wasn't focused on being spiritually mature enough to shepherd a family.
I was focused on fishing, hunting, politics, movies, games, knives, guns, boots, traveling from one focus to another, my focus reaching about as far out into the future as the tip of my nose (and I don't really have a long nose.....) never getting my attention off the small, menial here and now distractions. My goal wasn't to someday be the leader of a house, and provider of a house, and start planning and working at it accordingly. I thought it would all happen someday, and someday was very far away, and there was no need now to be distracted from the more interesting things in life for all that ..... grown up stuff.
Best lessons learned in life are learned the hard way.
Anyway, lately I have started to try to shake off that mental cage of adolescence. I am trying to focus here and now on what I need to focus on to be ready for marriage and family. Granted, I am pretty crummy at it, but by God's grace I will get there.
But I do have on tiny smidge of consolation, the problem is that smidge is also very disconcerting.
I am not alone.
I look around, and I see very few of my friends and acquaintances actually striving to be ready as well. It's a tad comforting - at least I am not alone out here, but knowing how devastating a position it is, it is also disconcerting.
We are not focusing on what we need to do and learn and know and have for family life. we put our time and energy into ...... trivial matters. They may be good, edifying things, sure, but is that what we are supposed to be doing?
Guys, is your focus (and no, I don't care how old you are) on be spiritually sound before the Lord, how to start making a solid income for a family, how to provide, protect, and stand in the gates for Christ? Can you run a household with all its intricacies and not bring the house down around your ears? I know I sure can't, and I have a ways to go.
Ladies, are you learning all the things you will need to know for your family? How to cook, clean, sew, wash, care for young children, run a budget, be productive with your hands, and otherwise all the stuff listed in proverbs 31? Are you?
And I don't mean that sort of mental back-burner thought of 'oh yeah, I am working on that - slowly ......'
I mean is it your focus. Is it the thing you think about, and are actively striving for? When you sit down from chores, and even as you do your chores, what is your mind whirring on? I think you will find that is your real focus - what you are unconsciously striving for. If your mind is non-stop spinning of things other than what they are supposed to be on, on how to be ready and how to start being ready today, you're probably wasting your time.
Now granted, I am not saying that there is a place for other things, for smaller, less important goals and tasks, but it can't be our long term focus, and it has to be only for a short season for a specific purpose. Sure, we can have fun together, we can go do fun stuff, but it can't be our goal, striving for it non-stop.
It's so easy to put it off till tomorrow, and go catch up on the black hole of fakebook. (no, that was not typo...) It's so easy to focus on and be striving for the next good book, the next hunting season, the last good movie, the next time we all get together and hang out, and on and on, never on what we really are supposed to be focused on as young men and women.
But hey - we teach best what we need to learn most. : )
What I am trying to do here is encourage you guys out there to start encouraging each other to do what we are supposed to. When we get together, do we 'hang out', and talk about the latest random goofy?
Do we talk about the last funny movie, the last good book, the newest piece of gossip?
Or do we 'exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin'?
Seriously, when we get together, far to often all we do is yak and yak about - useless stuff, honestly. Again, there may be an appropriate place for that, but far to often it is the only thing that is happening. We need to be getting out our sharpening stones and grinding each other up a bit - get down to those gritty matters about our spiritual life we really wish nobody knew. It's time to let out walls down and let each other into the dark corners of our heart.
I am trying to encourage you to encourage others. We're supposed to do it, and honestly, it works wonders.
I am horrible at this, both encouragement and focus, probably - no, more than probably - because I don't have much focus myself. I am a very distracted person, and I struggle daily on doing what I should be doing, and not be caught up in some small, not so important, bunny trail that merely wastes time and goes nowhere.
But were all in this together right? I want to exhort you all here, to try to do my bit to spur my friends, my followers, and any other random person reading this, to stop being distracted with everything-else-but, and start focusing on what God has called you to do, and what he has you doing right now.
Doesn't matter what it is really, and way deep down you know what it is you should be doing that you are not. I am finding all humans are pretty much the same when it comes to their core heart matters, and I am guessing you all are not to different from me. : )
So, its time to stop wasting time. It's time to man up, woman up, be Christlike, and do what we are supposed to be doing.
And please, encourage me on this as well - I desperately need accountability, and it's time we all start stepping up to help one another. I'll try to help you all out there as well.
So lets do it guys - lets focus, lets die to selves, and lets take this world over for Christ.