Devotional

“It seems like only yesterday our grandfathers were plowing the lower forty, walking to school, going to town once a week, and getting to bed by eight o’clock. Millions of people who made their debut on our planet in the early part of the twentieth century remember when their towns looked like a chapter from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic Little House on the Prairie.” – excerpt from Little House On The Freeway, Dr. Tim Kimmel  

In his book, Little House On The Freeway, author Tim Kimmel talks about how Walnut Grove has changed a lot since the Little House On The Prairie days. It is harder and harder to remember the peaceful family life from years ago in the hectic schedules of today.  The busy life has become the norm. The crazy part of it all is that most of the things we are doing in our lives today aren’t bad in and of themselves. But trying to do all of them at the same time is causing us to miss family life for a full schedule and we have the frazzled nerves to prove it.

The Bible teaches us another way to live: to keep our hearts and our minds focused on the things that really matter in our lives. The Psalmist said, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered –  how fleeting my life is.” (Psalm 39:4). Being aware that our days are short will help us remember to focus on the things that bring real happiness, peace, and purpose to my life: my relationship with Christ, my family, and my relationships. When we stay focused on the big things in life, we will be better at protecting our time from the little things that creep in and make our lives crazy busy.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe you’ve felt the demands of all those little things that seem so urgent in life. You want to finish that conversation with your wife, but those emails won’t answer themselves. Or maybe you want to spend some quality time with the kids but those papers sitting on your desk won’t grade themselves. The struggle for meaningful family time is real.

Life will never again be like it was when people lived in their quiet little houses on the prairie. Decades of innovation and progress has changed all of that. And besides, we enjoy all the benefits and conveniences of high-tech, high-speed living. When things get hectic ask yourself a question: How can you have the family you want in the fast-paced times we face today?

You’ll be amazed by the connection you have with your family when you start making quality time for them.

In the book, Little House On The Freeway, Tim Kimmel describes seven marks of a hurried family. They are: 

  1. Can’t relax
    This family’s schedule is always full with no time for anyone else.
  2. Can’t enjoy quiet
    This family lives in the midst of constant and conflicting sounds of entertainment.  
  3. Never satisfied
    This family always wants to have more and to be more than they are.
  4. An absence of absolutes
    With no set standards, this family isn’t sure of themselves.
  5. Suffering servants
    Craving approval from others, this family does good, but for bad reasons.
  6. A storm beneath the calm
    While appearing calm, this family is trapped in constant concern and worry.
  7. World-class overachievers
    Only happy when they are succeeding, this family lives in constant competition.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is there more “me” time or more “our” time in your family experience?
  2. In what way can we invest more time in our marriage/relationships this week?