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In a world that’s become so fast-paced with demand for instant gratification, we can lose sight of the need to slow down and spend quality time with those who are dear to us.
Building family traditions that bring and keep us together are as important today as they’ve ever been.
There’s nothing we can give to each other that has more value than simply our time and ourselves. Nineteen years ago, my family began taking time out for a family vacation. Our resources never permitted luxurious excursions – just simple camping trips where we could take time away from all of life’s demands and spend a few moments together as a family. We explored several locations until we found a very special place: Patrick’s Point State Park in Trinidad. This year was our 16th time going to this incredibly beautiful, peaceful place; needless to say, it has become a major highlight of our year.
There’s a special bond built when a family spends time together. Does it mean every year our kids were ecstatic to drive eight hours to pitch a tent and sleep on an air mattress for 10 days? Not exactly, yet, every year we made memories surrounding the little things that still make us smile today: enjoyable meals, campfires, walking through canyons, swimming in rivers, jumping off rocks, finding agates, battling raccoons, chili cook-offs, ocean fishing, eating ice cream, lots of laughing, games and stories. It’s amazing how little it costs to build what we cannot buy with anything else but our time.
Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of inviting other families from our church to come along. The joy of letting life unwind for a few days in an amazing place with those who mean the most to you is priceless, not to mention it becomes addicting. Now when we post pictures and share our time with those back home, the kids who used to go with us (and now are grown) write on my Facebook wall and tell me how much they miss going. They share memories they have of their days spent there, special memories from the deposit of time – something you cannot buy, only give away.
Do you have to go far? Does it have to be a big deal? No. Begin doing activities that require small investments of your time in the lives of those who you’ve been blessed with in your life. Max Lucado said: “Those who sit around your table will soon be sitting around tables of their own.”
It doesn’t have to be a vacation. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s the simple things you do together that reinforce and protect this fragile and priceless treasure called family.
Don Pritchard is the pastor at Solid Rock Faith Center in Diamond Springs.