Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Beware Family Sinkholes

Maybe you heard about the car museum in Florida where some eight Corvettes were damaged or destroyed falling into a sinkhole that appeared in the floor. Eight Corvettes! Most of us would love to have just one!

One moment that museum housed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shiny sports cars and minutes later many were gone. What was so valuable quickly turned to rubble.

I wonder if we ought to think about life that way a bit more. I wonder if we shouldn't look at many of the things that seem valuable to us and realize that life's sinkholes could take them away too in an instant.

I often talk with people who at one time were making hundreds of thousands of dollars each year but now struggle to find or keep a job. For a while they were living the high life but now it's vanished. Others lost their "Corvettes" to their health, to the economy, to a dishonest coworker or their own foolishness. Whatever the case the wealth and value they once thought they had is no more.

Sometimes life is hard and bad things happen.

So what do we do? Like that museum we can't always avoid the sinkholes. They often just happen. But we can have a different perspective that won't make the loss seem so great.  We can value different things so that we put our hope in what truly matters. And that perspective is something we parents must especially teach our kids. We couples must affirm for each other every day.

A few key components of a healthy perspective?

Stuff is only stuff. More of anything material does not make more of us! If we have it, great. If we lose it, it's not the end of the world. Do not let your home, your efforts, your focus revolve around more things. If you're blessed with a lot, give a lot away.

Relationships are where the greatest riches lie. Invest in time with each other, making memories and learning more about each other. Unfortunately, families today have or make little time to just be with each other, talk and grow together. Be different and make time for one another.

Don't become an entitled couple or family. Don't expect that you always have to get the best, the most and what's first.  Teach your kids to look out for those who have less, volunteer in places where people have little and be willing to scale back and live on less.

Ask yourself, "What would we do if we lost most everything material that we own?"  Of course you would be sad, even devastated, but could you see yourself moving on?  Can you picture your family living on less and knowing that you're OK?

The greatest example of someone not needing stuff was Jesus. He even said that he had "nowhere to lay his head."  He had no home, few possessions and probably not a lot of clothes. But He was the source of peace and joy and still is.

It seems like if He could do it, we can . . . and must.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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