This week begins a very busy time for our family as three birthdays and our wedding anniversary all occur over the next 6 weeks. I don't really mind if my birthday gets recognized or not but it's really important to me the other events are celebrated, especially those whereas my wife is involved. She always works really hard to make others feel special and it seems like she receives so little in return. Anyhow, as we begin this marathon of get-togethers, it all starts with our son's birthday and this year we had to make some adjustments due to finances. Fortunately, I had earned a gift card last year to an all-inclusive resort with indoor/outdoor waterparks, arcades and playgrounds so my son really had a pretty cool celebration of playing, swimming, tubing, etc.... from dawn til dusk. For this delayed expenditure I am very thankful and it's just another (of many) examples of how Our Heavenly Father supplies in miraculous ways.
Although we had a wonderful time as a family there was one event that really got my attention.
It all started the morning we were leaving for the trip; here's an abbreviated timeline:
05:45am: Rise and Shine. and in the car by 07:00am, hopefully.
07:30am: Actual departure by the time we ate, turned off and unplugged all appliances and lights, loaded the car, did 2 more walk-throughs to make sure nothing was left behind and all doors/windows were secured.
08:20am: Arrived at son's school
08:25am: To the local party store for refund. They were closed so we went to Walmart to return some items and purchase others.
09:00am: Leave Walmart and back to Party City and then to Books-a-Million to unsuccessfully search for a requested book.
09:40am: Leave book store and arrive at grocery to pick up cupcakes for school party.
10:20am: Arrive at school to setup for party and receive the children.
10:40am: Leave school to return to grocery to place the actual cake order (to be picked up on our way home from the resort.)
11:30am: Grab a couple of gifts and back to the school to get our son and leave for our trip.
Eventually, after fueling, grocery, fast-food stops, we arrived at the resort by 14:30ish. Then of course comes the unpacking, loading the luggage and party items onto the luggage carrier to take to the room to unload and then repeat in reverse order a couple of days later. During all of this mad rush I encountered a young man who worked at the facility and he asked if I needed assistance and I acknowledge needing to know where the carts were stored. He quickly obliged and then with a great amount of courtesy asked about the t-shirt I was wearing which advertised "Rescued Lives Ministries" which is managed by a friend of mine. I gave him a 15 second commercial then darted off to resume my party planning chaos.
After I finally settled into the room and opened my Bible to Ecclesiastes where I have been reading lately, the Spirit reminded me of the young guy's question and then it occurred to me: Was he interested in the shirt or in knowing more about why anyone would need to be rescued? So, I told my wife I had forgotten something and needed to go back downstairs. Fortunately, the guy was still there and I apologized for being so self-focused and inquired of his own faith. Turns out he's a Christian and was merely making conversation. I again apologized that I didn't slow down earlier to speak with him and we shook hands and departed.
I went back to the room and resumed my reading where Solomon, in the first couple of chapters of Ecclesiastes acknowledges some very critical components of life I want to list.
1. Great wealth does not fulfill us.
2. The wealth of this world is vanity and comparable to trying to grab the wind.
3. The material things we work to earn in this life will be left for others to determine the value. Most of which will be sold, given away, trashed, and so forth.
4. True wealth is found in the good works we do for others.
There are lots of other points of enlightenment so be sure to dig in and see what secrets you can find in the Holy Bible and especially within the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.