I would like to draw your attention to a very sad and haunting story that Dr. Chuck Quarles told onetime when he was preaching at a pastors’ conference. The story was about a conversation that happened several years ago.
Dr. Quarles was invited to lunch by a renowned theologian, biblical scholar, prolific author, and thinker. As they were having lunch, Dr. Quarles told this scholar that he was inspired by his great achievements as a thinker and writer, and he added, “I’m very amazed by your accomplishments. How did you achieve such success?”
This theological heavyweight mumbled beneath his breath and said, “I sacrificed my son.”
“I was stunned by his words,” Dr. Quarles said. He believed that this famous theologian had misunderstood him, so he asked again, “What did you say?”
“You heard me!” the scholar exclaimed, almost furiously. “I said I sacrificed my son!”
From what he learnt from him, Dr. Quarles explained that this scholar had been so driven to study, write, publish books, and make a name for himself in the academic world that he had neglected his family. He was so busy and taken up with achieving his ambitions that he had no time for his family. As a result, his son practically grew up as a stranger to his father.
His son, now an adult, was a homeless man sleeping on the streets.
Dr. Quarles tried to console him, saying, “I’m sure that’s not your fault.”
“Don’t try to console me……” the scholar retorted angrily. Yes, I did that! Even though people seem to be amazed by my productivity as a scholar, the fact is, I would give up every one of those books and far, far more just to have my son back!” Then prolific writer then sternly looked across the table, and straight into Dr. Quarles’ eyes, and said, “Just in case you want to walk in my footsteps, know that I pray to God that you don’t walk in my footsteps and make the same mistakes I made.”
Beloved, it is my pray that this conversation will continuously echo in your mind and keep you seriously thinking about this this situation. I also pray that this conversation will torment you so much and lead you to begin examining your own life as a husband and father or a wife and a mother. I pray that many of you will reflect on this conversation realize the mistakes you are making by being so taken up with ministry work or by being obsessed with a pursuit for professional and financial success at the expense of your families. I pray that this conversation will prompt you to evaluate your own priorities and lead you to alter your way of life. Slow down! Reduce on the activities that are making you so busy and create more time for your family. I can assure you that in the end, you will never regret this radical change.
No one has ever lamented on his deathbed wishing that he had spent more time at the office. However, no amount of success at the office or at any other workplace can compensate for a failure at home!
If you don’t have enough time for your family, you can be 100% certain you are not following God’s will for your life.— Patrick Molley
(author, Man in the Mirror)