I cried during The Celebrity Apprentice finale the other night. I’m not sure if it was because I was finishing up a message for our high school ministry called “One Month to Live” or if it was because I had just finished tucking the kids in bed, but either way, it hit me hard.
The Apprentice isn’t a show that normally brings people to tears. That is usually saved for a moving moment on Oprah or an incredible reveal on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The Apprentice is usually a cheesy, quasi-reality show that pits wannabe Trumps against each other in a battle of business talent and know-how. So why exactly was I crying?
Well, right in the middle of the show, country singer Trace Adkins performed his song “You’re Gonna Miss This.” It is the story of a man reflecting at the end of his life about all the moments he missed. The song talks about how we move so quickly through life—the newlywed stage, the young parents with babies stage, graduations, and even retirement. It was a reflective song of mourning in the twilight years of life.
So I sat there . . . crying, not just at Donald Trump’s hair, but wondering if it was because I was a little convicted.
As a youth worker, I live in the tension of the work world and my home. I love to work. I have no problem meeting the expected 40+ hours of work each week. I love what I do. That passion for my work keeps me there in front of my laptop, with students, or in meetings all day long.
Much of my youth ministry career I’ve found myself being a dad to the fatherless and in pointing all to the Father in heaven. I know what good dads look like, and I know what bad dads look like. The difference between them usually isn’t an issue of morality; it is whether or not their family gets their caring attention. We’ve all realized very keenly the significance of a strong, godly man in the home.
But I don’t want to be absent in my own life. I want to live in the moment of my kids’ lives. I want to be a great dad. I want to fight against staying late at the office. I want to fight against being gone too many nights a year. I don’t want to be late perpetually for dinner. I want to squash the ego demon that is lurking inside of me driving me to do more, and give up what matters most.
And that, my friends, is why I cried during The Celebrity Apprentice finale the other night. When I do finally find out that I have only days to live, I don’t want to panic and feel like I need to make up for “lost time.” I don’t want to look back and see an amazing career and a family that never really had me.
Maybe this touches an affirming chord with you, or it will just be a significant warning sign to heed. Where we devote our attention is really important. My simple prayer and commitment is to make sure I am always directing my attention to the right priorities. How about you?
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