Slow Down, Dad

by Tim Stone - Date: 2007-04-28 - Word Count: 767 Share This!

Recently, I was on a ministry retreat. Now, one would assume that since the very nature of a retreat is to slow down, that while attending a retreat you would experience a time of refreshing. Well, in theory that is true. However, in order for that to happen you have to make yourself slow down. In our culture today, cell phones, laptops, and convenient internet access make it very difficult to really get away. Get away on vacation, on a retreat, for a day off, or just get away from work when you're at home in the evening. We live in a busy world and even though we try to take some time to get away from it all, if we are not resolute in our pursuit for a time of refreshing, we will come back just as tired as we were before we left.

I found myself at this retreat going to meetings, and making phone calls in between meetings, and texting between meetings, (and, yes, during meetings too) as if the world couldn't go on without my input. I found myself going to bed late only to have to get up early and rushing out the door in order not to miss breakfast. Now, where my wife and I were staying, it was about a 5 to 10 minute drive to the retreat facility where all the meetings and meals were. Each time we drove to and from the retreat facility, we passed by a location where people were standing outside looking up at something. Some had cameras, and some had binoculars and all of them were looking up in the same direction. Each time we passed, we wondered what in the world they were looking at, but we were in too big of a hurry to bother stopping.

Finally, as I was driving by, I caught a glimpse of something high up in a tree that was apparently the focus of all the attention. It seemed to be a rather large nest and I thought to myself, "I wonder if that is an eagle's nest up there." I had no idea if eagles even lived in this area, but I only thought that because I couldn't think of any other bird that would have a nest that large. Next time by, I was determined to stop and check it out.

Again, as I was passing by, I was in a hurry to get to the next meeting but made the decision to stop anyway. What I saw was absolutely awesome. The nest was home to a family of bald eagles. Two adult eagles and two little ones. A gentleman, who I later found out was a photographer, was there taking some pictures and was kind enough to lend me his binoculars. My wife who was with me, along with our pastor's wife, just stood mesmerized by the majesty of these awesome creatures. Needless to say, we were quite late to our meeting.

I wonder how many people pass by that location everyday and see people standing out there, but never slow down long enough to check it out. Let's face it, it's not everyday you see bald eagles in the wild. I'm now 40 and it's my first time to see bald eagles anywhere but a zoo. In order to catch something like this, you have to slow down. The same holds true with so much in life. We can get so busy with life that we miss so much. We can put so much into making a living that we forget to have a life.

Don't get so busy that you miss important events in the lives of your children. They only get that first base hit once. They will only score that first touchdown one time. They will only have a handful of recitals, or plays, or games, or track meets, or science fairs, or ballets. You will wake up one day and your children will be 18, 19, or 20 years old and about to head off to college or about to get married, and if you lived most of those years in the fast lane you will be full of regrets. You'll wish then that you would have slowed down.

Slow down! Enjoy the journey. Learn to put down your cell phone and turn off your laptop. Get out of the left hand lane and cruise in the right hand lane a while. Who knows maybe you'll catch sight of a bald eagle. Or, better yet the debut performance of an up and coming ballerina who just happens to have your eyes and her momma's nose.

Related Tags: home, family, parenting, parent, dad, father, christianity, christian living, christian parenting

Tim Stone is a veteran of youth ministry with over 15 years of experience in that field. He currently serves as youth pastor at Freedom Fellowship Church in Magnolia, TX. He is also the founder of, a website designed to inform and equip today's parents. For more tools and resources go to

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