I thought my young daughter was with someone else. Following worship services, we were going with a group to lunch. When I arrived at the restaurant, a funny sensation formed in the pit of my stomach. I tried to remain calm but something was wrong.
“Where’s my daughter?” I asked. “Have any of you seen Lisa?”
“Not since church. She wanted to ride with you? Don’t you have her?”
“I thought she was with you?” With a lump in my throat and a huge knot in my stomach, I ran out of the restaurant, squealed rubber driving from the parking lot and drove furiously back to the church, all the while, hoping and praying my precious little child was safe. Upon reaching the church, I saw her standing by the front door with the saddest look on her face and huge crocodile tears running down both cheeks. Fortunately a kind gentleman stayed behind assuring Lisa that her forgetful Dad would be back soon.
As I carried her to the car with both little arms clinging tightly to my neck, she was still sobbing. I will never forget her cry of anguish: “Daddy, how could you forget me?”
Have you ever become so focused on urgent day-to-day activities that you literally “drive off and forget” about something critically important? Important but not always “demand your attention now” urgent such as: marriage, family, friends, God?
Not sure if this applies to you? Well, take this short quiz —
• Will that special someone in your life describe your relationship: a. “With a loving smile and starry-eyed wonder,” b. “A blank look but hopeful of more to come” or c. “A sneer displaying venom and frustration.”
• Would your family portray you as: a. “Busy but compassionate and loving.” b. “Occasionally wild and crazy.” or c. “Mom? Dad? Brother? Sister? Who?”
• Could your circle of friends be defined as: a. “Growing stronger in every way.” b. “Occasionally we run into each other.” or c. “We used to be close — a long, long time ago.”
• Your relationship with God would be described as: a. “A relationship deepening day by day.” b. “Regular as in every Christmas and Easter.” or c. “Dusty as the Bible on the coffee table.”
How did you do? Not so good? Me too. “Daddy, how could you forget me?”
The simple truth? Answering those questions with any answer other than “a” is not good enough. Your spouse, your best friend, your children, your family, your friends and especially God deserve better.
Why am I writing this now? Because we are approaching Holy Week and Easter when we relive and remember the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who willingly and purposefully allowed himself to be betrayed, beaten, whipped, crucified, dead and buried so that we could receive the perfect gift of God’s amazing grace.
Why? Because we need it. I need it. “Daddy, how could you forget me?”
Just before dawn on Easter morning, several women came to lovingly prepare a body. “Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved. She said, ‘They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him?’” (John 20:1-2)
At Easter sunrise the relatively average lives of a few women, eleven disciples and the entire world would never be the same. This Easter, how will you respond? In your rush of urgent day-to-day duties will you forget the significance of that morning and the sacrifice of our risen Lord?
• Easter can restore the starry-eyed wonder in your significant relationship.
• Easter can recapture the loving, occasionally crazy aspects of family living.
• Easter can redefine your friendships as continually growing stronger.
• Easter can renew your struggling connection with a loving, forgiving Father.
It took the love of my little girl saying, “Daddy, how could you forget me?” to be reminded yet again of the critical difference between what is urgent and what is really important in life. With God’s help, I will do better. Lisa is now grown and has a child of her own. I pray that she too will never forget that what is urgent should never interfere with what is really important.
This Easter, may God remind you, urgent matters come and go but what is important, is really, really important: “Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.”