I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed the other night when I came across this shocking status: “We’re only 14 weeks away from Christmas!” (I may have muttered an inappropriate word under my breath.) I love Christmas, but in order to truly enjoy Christmas as a family, there is so much to do. Decorating, shopping, picking a tree, watching certain traditional Christmas movies… It’s September. I haven’t begun to think about Christmas. Sure, it’s fall now. The weather is changing (it’s only 97 today instead of 103). But I wasn’t even remotely thinking about how quickly Christmas would be here. My wife and I need to start scheduling now. We could have lived in “rapidly encroaching Christmas” ignorance for another month or so, but the reminder was helpful.
There’s always been this fallacy about about the importance of quality time over quantity time. The pressure to do something grand—something significant—is suffocating. And we begin to believe that time spent with our kids doesn’t count unless we are at a pumpkin patch or cutting down a Christmas tree or circling the neighborhood caroling. Sure, our kids will never forget the trip to Disney or the surprise party for no reason, but the most meaningful impact will be the consistency of our presence over time. The long chats in the car, the bedtime conversations and the never ending games of monopoly. The time we spend around the dinner table every single night in July, August and September will carry just as much, if not more weight than the one time we sit down to watch The Christmas Story in December.
The same is true with the kids we lead. The crazy sleepless nights at camp are unforgettable. The end of the year pizza party will be memorable and the mission trip to Central America will leave it’s mark. However, being available week after week carries weight like nothing else. When things fall apart at home, when the bullies strike and when the championship is won, you are there. On Sunday… on facetime… on the other end of the text.
Time is running out. Christmas will be here before you know it. But don’t sweat it. After Christmas, our eyes will be set on spring break. And then summer. And then Christmas again. Time spent together is not measured in the grandness of two or three activities done during critical points of the year. Time with your few today is just as important as tomorrow. So what about now? Each week is making history, even when it doesn’t feel like anything significant was said or done. What you do now has the potential to create a history worth repeating. Time matters!