“Because we know that the Governor is coming to visit our small community next week, we’re asking your help in getting things tidied up—and having a great time as a family at the same time!” The community leader announced the work project as a thing of honor and grandeur. It would be the following Saturday.
“After all,” he continued, “our main street town is known for dozens of beautiful historical homes and businesses. That makes it unique!” He ended with enthusiasm, “and we know how much shared family time means to all of us!”
“Do we haveta?” a small boy whispered to his dad. Denny nodded.
The chairman addressed Denny and asked, “Will you pass the word onto the Nelson family bout our family activity? We’d appreciate their help, too.”
“Sure thing,” Denny responded. But he really felt like mimicking his son’s comment, “Do we haveta?”
As Denny drove up to the Nelsons, long-time residents of the town, he noticed the flat dirt yard pounded by feet, trucks and horse trailers. “Looks just the same,” he decided. Not one blade of grass anywhere. Not for years. It’s almost an embarrassment to the town.”
After he told Martin Nelson about the shared family time project, the man his toe in the dust and smiled. “That’s quite a sell for picking up trash on Main Street as a family. But we’re doing something else together.”
And they did. Saturday morning dawned sunny and bright and right after breakfast and chores, many in the community were lining Main Street picking up litter and cutting weeds.
But the Nelson family gathered outside for another type of family sharing. Volleyball. Lots of laughter and glee. It drew a crowd. The lively rounds soon included cousins, neighbors and lots of kids.
At the end of the community cleanup and the volleyball, all participants had shared time with families, but with different activities.
It would be easy for the clean-up group to criticize the Nelsons. Some did. Why? Because most lived in well-maintained houses with green lawns. So far, the Nelsons never had a green lawn. But their contribution to the town was even more important: regional and national awards for rodeo wins that even the Governor would notice.
Besides excellent horsemanship, the Nelsons certainly knew how to have family fun.
Peter advises: “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing because to this you were called that you may inherit a blessing.” [1 Peter 8-9]
Harmony: It’s God’s idea that we work together, even when we’re blessed with other gifts, and sometimes on a different wave length no matter what activity is the goal. Look for it! Have fun together!
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com and her speaking engagements. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]