By Roger Campbell
Sagamore Hill, a tourist attraction at Oyster Bay, New York, was the home of President, Theodore Roosevelt and from 1902-1908 it was known as his Summer White House. The president’s downstairs office was often the place where he met with important dignitaries and government officials, but these meetings were abruptly interrupted daily for what Roosevelt considered more important business.
At four o’clock each day, those in the office would hear the patter of little feet along the hallway above, down the stairs and then outside the doorway to the study as one of Roosevelt’s children called for their father to come out and play. This childish call to a presidential playtime was because of an appointment with them that their father had promised to keep each day and, probably to the surprise of those thought to be so important, their host would rise and excuse himself, saying, “It is four o’clock and time to play with my children.” Evidently he wanted them to learn the importance of time and how to invest it.
“How many hours do you expect to spend fighting?” I asked the prospective bride and groom sitting across the desk from me.
Surprised at my question, they laughed.
Not many who plan for marriage talk about the time they may lose in coming battles. Perhaps if they gave more pre-marital planning to the priority loving times deserve there would be fewer marriage breakups.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year. He only is rich who owns the day and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with worry, fret and anxiety.”
Each morning, while preparing to meet the day, I read Psalm 118:24: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will be glad and rejoice in it.” Lowell Thomas found such inspiration in this verse that he had it framed and placed on the wall of his broadcasting studio so he could read it often.
President Roosevelt’s practice of spending priority time with his children is a good example for us at the beginning of this New Year and following his example may pay great dividends in the lives of our family members in the future. Some wise one once said love can be spelled t-i-m-e, so let’s demonstrate our love to family members who feel neglected because we’ve been too busy to show them we care.
John H. Vincent chose to quote the following expression of his desire to grow in faith every day: “I will this day try to live a simple, sincere and serene life; repelling promptly every thought of discontent, impurity and self seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence; exercising economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation, cheerfulness in appointed service, fidelity in every trust and a childlike faith in God.”
Making 2008 great will require taking time to build up our faith, our families and prayerfully responding to every need we see. How great will this year be?