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2 months ago

Prophet Priest King II

Bible Study

By Keith Hoffman My

By Keith Hoffman My family and I were enjoying an evening of dining and visiting with friends. While my wife chatted with Mary, Skip and I discussed the economy, world events, and business. As the evening floated by, our discussion drifted towards family. Skip then said something that captured my attention, for it related closely to my own experience. Even though he spoke in passing, his words dripped with insight. “My oldest son will be finished with school in 12 months. In 15 months, he will move out of the house forever. He will never live with us again. I won’t know what he is doing, and he really won’t care; he will have a life of his own. I know this, but just yesterday, I arrived home from work, ate a quick meal, and then went out to the yard and pulled weeds. After that, I washed the car and cleaned up the garage. When night fell, I went inside, gave the kids a hug, and went to bed. Another day passed and I spent perhaps all of eight minutes with my son. I am so obsessed with the urgent that I lose sight of the important.” I tried to encourage Skip, assuring him that being aware of the problem is half of the battle. Skip responded with an openness and honesty that I have come to appreciate and admire, “It may be half of the battle, but it is only half, and it is a battle.” Skip was right. Beyond his words, I understood exactly what he meant. The “important” meant being a vital part of his son’s life. “Important” meant using the limited time he has while his children live at home to shape and prepare them for life. “Important” meant fulfilling his role as a father in dimensions beyond being the breadwinner and caretaker of their property. “Important” meant doing the things that affect not only the lives of his children, but also those of generations to come. Skip’s words resonated within me, because I, too, had the same sense that I was not fully discharging my intended role as father. Like Skip, I am a conscientious provider, faithful and loving husband, and loving parent. We make a concerted effort to do things together as a family. Being with my wife and children is essential, and I realize that important modeling takes place while we are together. Even so, I sensed that spending time together in and of itself is not the answer. Deep within my being, awareness of a calling stirred my soul. It is this dull sense of the need to be intentional, at least some of the time, which remained largely unfulfilled. As I reflected back on Skip’s words and my own struggle with tending to the important, I realized that the struggle was not so much between the urgent and the important as with knowing what to do about the important. I had a passion for my family, but not an agenda. I

sensed the call to fill a role, but I did not know how to answer it. The real issue for me was not losing sight of the important, but failing to see my role and responsibilities in it. I believe human nature gravitates toward tasks that we understand, know how to accomplish, and can do well. Cleaning the garage is not so much urgent as it is in need of doing and I know how to do it. Fertilizing the lawn really can wait until tomorrow, but I have no pressing issues for my family’s agenda today. Until we comprehend our calling and flesh out our understanding with an actionable agenda, the battle between the urgent and the important continues. We will always tend to do the “urgent” things we understand in deference to the important things that are fuzzy and ill defined. The unfulfilled restlessness that Skip and I felt just below the surface of consciousness was the calling to go beyond being the provider, beyond being the caretaker, and beyond being a playmate and friend to our families. God has called us to be heads of our households. The Father has designed the family as the fundamental building block of society and assigned very broad responsibilities to the leader of this societal unit. Unlike a corporation, which often has many layers of management from top to bottom, His organizational chart for humanity is unbelievably wide and incredibly lacking in layers. The responsibilities He has assigned to us are not lost in the bureaucracy of divine order; they flow from God the Father, through Christ Jesus, and to the husband. Why is it, then, that our responsibilities sometimes seem so fuzzy and ill defined? Have you ever played the game where one person tells a story to another, who in turn repeats it to the next, and so on? After several renditions, it begins to lose its familiarity. Important details are omitted and new content is added to fill in the gaps. In the same way, each succeeding generation learns spiritual leadership primarily through the example of their parents. The cumulative effects of imperfect knowledge, poor execution, and sin lead us far from the truth in only two or three generations. Providentially, the Father prepared a written record and detailed model of His plan for leadership within the household. We need not invent new methods nor interpret past practices; the original plan of the Master Designer is intact and available for our use. We simply must return to Scripture and rediscover our call – to be the priest, prophet, and king to our household. I am by nature a highly competitive person, and up until 1995, I was obsessed with my career. My passions, goals, and dreams revolved around it, and I measured my value and worth as a person by my position on the corporate ladder. My wife, Libby, was not living with a husband, but with the Director of Engineering. To the casual observer, I was the model husband and father. We had our own home in the suburbs, food was on the table, and our children had shoes. I kept the yard neatly groomed, the house well maintained, and our cars sparkled in the driveway. I worked long hours, but still

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