One time there was a researcher assigned the task of studying the history of the Adams family and came across the diary of Charles Francis Adams. In reading through the diary the researcher discovered a day where the only words that had been written were, “Went fishing with son. Day wasted.”
His son was Brooks Adams, the famous early American historian, and in his writing he referred to that same day which he had spent fishing with his father. He told how poorly the fish were biting (or NOT biting!) and how they did not catch a single one. Instead, they sat talking.
Brooks was only twelve at the time but in the conversation, as with any twelve-year-old, he asked many questions. In response his father proceeded to be creative in his responses and wound up explaining many important aspects of life in this world.
Later, as Brooks remembered that day with his father, he recalled it with great fondness by saying, “This was the most significant changing point in my life.”
What a contrast. For one it was a “day wasted.” For the other it was “life-changing.” What made the difference?
I believe the major difference was the value (or lack of) that was placed on simply spending time with someone, especially someone of such close relationship. Sometimes we adults get too caught up in our “work-a-day-world” and forget what is really important. Children, on the other hand, have the innate ability and need to simply look at life through the prism of present wonder and their relationships.
Taking this as a clue, maybe we could say that if we looked at our world realizing there are no insignificant people or wasted days then we might be better able to experience the true joy of living.
Remember that Jesus spent many days with His disciples, and I imagine Him spending time alone with each one at various points…may be even fishing. Just think of where we would be if Jesus hadn’t taken the time for this! And have you noticed that most of the miracles Jesus performed happened while he was on his way somewhere and his journey was “interrupted”? Sometimes interruptions are assignments in disguise.
When was the last time you “wasted” a day with someone who really needed it? Maybe a son or daughter or mom or dad or brother or sister or widow or neighbor or…
The wonderful discovery comes when we realize we need it as much as they do. Love demands we change the value from “wasted” to “INVESTED!”