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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Lessons From My Dad: Presence Over Presents

Presence over presents. Another short, pithy phrase my dad taught me. This tags along with yesterday’s lesson about the way that kids spell love: T-I-M-E. Giving presents is fine, but they tend to bring momentary joy. Think about Christmas. Presents galore, usually unwrapped at a hurried speed. They are played with for a while, then discarded. The gift of presence, however, is lasting. It is what people appreciate most about you. Especially your children, for those of you who are parents. They want you in their lives. This is what they will remember most. I have so many vivid memories of my mom and dad sitting in the stands at practically every high school basketball game. And many of my college games as well. They were so committed to sharing those memories with me. I truly don’t remember many presents Dad gave to me. But I do remember his presence in my life’s most significant moments. That, I will never forget. I pray my kids saw me live out this truth as well. As you take a look at your life, ask yourself where you may be giving presents to those around you and forgetting to give them your actual presence. Find ways to create memories. Learn to have meaningful conversations with those you love. James 4:14 says, “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” What remains is how you loved, cherished, and stewarded the relationships with those around you (1 Corinthians 13:13). Presence over presents. Another life lesson from my dad.

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