Duke Jeyaraj / Father’s Day Devotion
During the days I was in the Call centre industry as a tent-making preacher (no longer now since Nov. 2008, am a fulltime evangelist now), I used to stay back in the office for some time in the early morning after I logged out. I would read the Bible online in the net-connected computer systems. And I would also write articles for our ministry’s magazine, The Days Of Your Youth, wrapping Bible Truth around contemporary events. Yes, by God’s sheer Grace, I worked hard. I also tried to balance things by spending time with my wife and children. I recall taking my son, Dale Nathan to a water theme park in Hyderabad, one day, during those days. It was raining heavily that day! Playing in the water with him – natural water from above and stored water from below was exhilarating. And this act was as God-pleasing as staying back in the office to write articles! My wife and I enjoy watching cricket together! After India successfully chased 325 runs in the Natwest Trophy Final in the Lord’s Cricket Ground in July 2002, Saurav Ganguly jumped on the top of Mohammed Kaif, India’s hero that night along with Yuvraj Singh; My wife and I were jumping on each other too! I also recall how I boxed the floor of our home, in derilious joy, along with my son after Sreesanth took the catch offered by Misbah in the 2007 Twenty20 Cup Final! AS FATHERS WE MUST TAKE TIME TO KEEP OUR CHILDREN ON OUR LAPS TO TALK AND PLAY WITH THEM THAN SPENT ALL OUR TIME WITH OUR LAPTOPS. YOUR FAST-GROWING DAUGHTER MAY APPRECIATE YOUR LAP TOP GIFT TO HER. BUT SHE WILL APPRECIATE YOU MORE, IF YOU PUT HER ON YOUR LAP AND ASKED LOVINGLY, IF EVERYTHING WAS GOING WELL IN HER WORLD. I was inspired by Bible characters like Caleb to balance work and family.CALEB came back from that God-given work and gave a speech that tells us that he was a man who did his work differently – daringly different to be precise. While others were very negative in their reporting, Caleb dons the role of a Pep Talk Prince with effortless ease. He says, “Let us go at once and occupy it (the Land of Canaan), for we are able to overcome it!” (Num 13:30). A guy who was positively good at his work, no doubt! What about his family life? Going by what we read in Judges 1, it does look like his family life was rocking – it was not on the rocks! He gave his daughter what she wanted (Jud 1:11-15), He gave her the upper springs and lower springs. This act of Caleb rings this truth into our mind: here was a man who doted on his daughter. Caleb, it looks like, had a decent work-life balance. As fathers, we must spend time with our children. MAX LUCADO, the famous American author talks about how he gave a preaching assignment a miss to be in his daughter’s school function in one of his books, Lucado also humorously writes that he found out that the meeting he was supposed to preach in, went on well, and that the organizers did not miss him! Do you know that not spending more time with his family and not balancing Work and Life adequately is the regret of a man as great as BILLY GRAHAM – the man whom God has used to announce the Gospel to the maximum number of people ever in all of Church history. This is how he talks about it in his autobiography, JUST AS I AM: ‘Although I have much to be grateful for as I look back over my life, I also have many regrets. I have failed many times, and I would do things differently. For one thing, I would speak less and study more, and I would spend more time with my family. When we look back over the schedules I kept thirty or forty years ago, I am staggered by all the things we did and the engagements we kept. Sometimes we flitted from one part of the country to another, even from one continent to another, in the course of only a few days. Were all those engagements necessary? Was I discerning as I might have been about which ones to take and which to turn down?: I doubt it. Every day that I was absent from my family is gone forever. Although much of that travel was necessary, some of it was not.’“You will have to consciously switch off your blackberry, turn off your computer, and not read your email. You should go on a vacation with your family and take a break, or else, it’s coming at you all the time!” Those words weren’t spoken by Family Counselor James Dobson. You will be surprised to know they were spoken by the one-time Google Inc.’s Vice President, Sukhinder S. Cassidy. She said this in a India Today Conclave 2007. An employee of Google herself says we must not overuse Google products, Youtube, Gmail, Google Search, at the cost of not spending time with our families! (EXTRACTED from Duke’s book, STRAIGHT TALK published by Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission – www.facebook.com/googleduke).