A Child In Your Inbox
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It was one of those days when I hadn't spent much time at my desk, and I had to be all over the building. I was working with different staff to finish several projects, and someone said, "Ron, have you checked your inbox lately?" Well, I hadn't looked at anything in my top bin of incoming work all day, and I figured whatever had appeared there in the last few hours, well it's going to self-destruct soon, right? Well, what roused my curiosity was this strange announcement: "There's a boy in your inbox." I checked, and sure enough, there was a boy in my inbox. Actually, it was a big, new, irresistible picture of my grandson, just standing there in my inbox, smiling at me.
Now, an inbox is where you find things that need your attention, right? Well, in a sense, there may be a boy or a girl in your inbox right now needing your attention.
The problem may be that a lot of other things are demanding your attention right now, too. You've got pressures, and deadlines, and problems. There's your career, your finances, people you work with, people you work for, and they all want a piece of you, right? But no one needs you more than that child of yours. You are the only mommy or daddy they have. And though they may not demand your attention like other things and other people do, they really need your attention more than they do. They deserve your attention.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Proverbs 27:23-24. In that book that is such a blueprint for living wisely, here's God's warning: "Be sure you know the condition of your flocks; give careful attention to your herds." In other words, stay up-to-date on what belongs to you. And if a person is supposed to give careful attention to their animals, well, surely it's your responsibility to always "know the condition" of the child God has entrusted to you. Do you? Are you taking daily time to listen to that child, to make that child feel loved? Do you give that child all of you for a little while each day? If you don't, you'll lose track of who they are, what they need, and who they're becoming.
God goes on to point out some of the consequences of not paying attention to what's yours: "For riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations." In other words, what you neglect...you start to lose. If that's a son or daughter, well that is way too high a price to pay.
God is so serious about our relationship with our children that He even makes it a qualifying standard for anyone who wants to be a spiritual leader. In the requirements for leaders in 1 Timothy 3:4-5, God says, "He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?"
Right now you may be seeing in a son or daughter of yours, the effects of...I guess I'd call it a form of Attention Deficit Disorder. Now in this case, they're showing signs of a deficit in your attention. So it might be a good day to check your inbox. There might be a boy in your inbox or a girl in your inbox, desperately needing your priority attention.
And you know, no matter what else you have to do, you just don't have anything more important to do than give them the attention that they need.