I arrived at that point recently. I had been running so fast, so often, throughout the week, that I felt like my family and I were two ships passing in the night. Especially my children. I would see them, but I wouldn’t see them (if you know what I mean). It was the normal routine of life- work, school, extra-activities after school and more work.
It was life. And it was draining. That sort of happens at times, doesn’t it? You wake up and suddenly several months have flown by and you find yourself scratching your head, wondering how you made it to this point? You cry “time out” longing for a break, but nothing of the sort seems to be on the horizon. The rules of life tell you to keep going.
We must play by the rules, right? After all, school and work are important. Our children need their education, we need to go to work, and the responsibilities of life must be tended to and managed. If not, we would reap the consequences! Our kids would get penalized at school. Our boss would reprimand us or worse, fire us. It’s true that we must play by the rules. And I agree with that…just not all the time.
Rules were made to be broken. Sometimes we do need a time out. Sometimes work and school can wait. There are moments where we need to break from the norm, defy the rules, and invest in what matters most- our family.
So, I broke the rules. A couple of weeks ago I told my wife that I was taking my 2 pre-teen daughters on an overnight trip, during the week, during school, during all of the busyness of life. She agreed. In fact, she strongly encouraged me to do it. “You need to do this,” she said. “Don’t wait. They won’t be this age for long.” That spoke to me in overwhelming fashion.
I jumped on my computer and booked a room at one of our favorite places in the world- Great Wolf Lodge. We went there with our entire family a few years ago and loved it. I was so excited to take my girls back. Great Wolf is one of those rare organizations that really gets family togetherness. In fact, as a Family Life Pastor, I think the church could learn a lot from them.
I am currently writing this to you from the desk in our room at Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio. We broke the rules. Yesterday afternoon I, along with my 11-year old daughter who is home-schooled, picked up my 12-year old daughter from school, with bags packed in the trunk of my car, and headed to Ohio.
“But what about school tomorrow?” my 12-year old asked. “You’re not going to school tomorrow!” I replied.
“What about your work?” she inquired again. “Well, I always have Friday’s off, but I would not go in tomorrow if that wasn’t the case so I could go on this trip,” I said. “We’re breaking the rules for a little while.” When she asked me why, I simply said, “I just wanted to take you two on a trip because I love you and I’ve been too busy lately. I have missed you.”
We stayed up late, ate too much popcorn, got Starbucks, went to a movie, and, later on this morning, we will spend time in an 84-degree indoor water park while the rest of the region is under a winter storm warning. Rules broken!
Do you need to break some rules with your family?