Tackling The Swing Set

Many joys and benefits come with fatherhood. Having a little one tackling you the moment you step foot in the door after a long day at the office. A snuggle buddy who falls asleep on your chest, exhausted after a full day of play. An excuse for watching Shrek for the 1,247th time.

Theres also a special responsibility all dads share around birthday or Christmas time: being in charge of assembling the latest and greatest toy, bike, or swing set that will bring a smile to your childs face. My last such task was building a kiddie swing set for my two daughters. Dont let the word kiddie fool you there were more pieces, nuts and bolts than I could count. I could have built an ark with all the lumber at my disposal. Luckily, the 12 pages of directions were all in English, which unfortunately isnt always the case.

I used the picture covering the box as a point of reference: a picture of Tommy and Suzie grinning from ear to ear because their daddy was clearly a tool whiz who put the thing together in no time. I, on the other hand, just learned what an Allen wrench was. I felt completely lost. How would all these random pieces and parts eventually end up looking like that picture staring back at me? At times I felt tempted to cut some corners to speed up the process. It was hard to see, in the midst of my assembly, how tightening this little bolt or following each tedious step was critical to the entire structure being sound.

Just like the kids swing set, when it comes to our relationship with Christ and the forming of our One Word into our character, some assembly is required. The My One Word project is about learning and embracing something new. As you develop measuring sticks to track progress and growth, it is critical to have a point of reference to the person you are trying to become. What does someone who is patient, kind, loving, forgiving, (insert your One Word) look like? What qualities do they possess that you seem to lack? How can you learn more about these character traits? Who in your life most exemplifies the quality of your One Word? Have you ever asked how living out this character trait seems so natural to them?

Being a fool when it comes to tools, I quickly realized the need to call in reinforcements who were more skilled with the hammer, wrench and screwdriver than I. If not for my brother-in-law, the swing set would have been an unstable structure that would inevitably collapse, sending one of my daughters to the hospital. While we assembled the swing set together, I had the opportunity to ask questions, learn some tricks of trade and at times just sit back and watch. Over time, I gained more confidence in what I was doing.

During this upcoming week, we want to encourage you to establish learning goals. Begin this process by asking yourself a question: in order to grow, what do you need to know? As you study your word, you will begin to notice areas where learning needs to take place. These are starting points for your learning goals. Where can you seek out the necessary information to better understand the values and heart behind your word? What books or articles focus on the subject of your one word? What scriptures should you study? Who do you respect who could serve as a mentor?

The point of learning goals is to pursue growth and knowledge of your word. Take the time necessary to become a student of your word.

  • Read Colossians 1:9-11.  In order to grow through your One Word, what do you need to know? In what areas do you seem to be lacking knowledge when it comes to the heart behind your One Word?
  • What steps do you need to take to gain the knowledge necessary for growth to take root in your life?

Are you looking for a way to keep your word in front of you all year long? Register for a My One Word account! One of the key features of a MOW account is an online Word Journal that allows you to capture your thoughts to reflective questions like you see above. You can go back at any time to read your completed journals to see how God has been moving in your life through your word in 2010.  If you already have an account, the questions from this blog have been posted to your Word Journal — log in to your account to start your Word Journal today!

  • Terri

    The thing that I most need to learn include budgeting of time. I think I must look to my elders for this. They get the most important things done first. They know how to say no if the need to do so.

  • Joe

    I too agree with the time mangement thing. I is very easy to just get home from work and sit in front of the tv to try to relax for a while then all a sudden you look up at time and before you know it 2 or 3 hours have gone by and you did not accomplish a thing except be lazy. This also would be a good point to start. Develope a structure time after I get home to work on My Word.

  • That’s interesting–you can know all there is about time management and prioritizing and still end up wasting time. I think it’s all a matter of how important our priorities are to us and whether we take them seriously enough. We can’t live by “feelings” or we will end up being double-minded just like scripture says. We have to be masters of our bodies.

    I pray the Holy Spirit gives us all the physical and mental strength to do the things we should be doing, so we can live a victorious life.