Trying Matters

James Dibben —  July 26, 2012
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Photo Credit: Odalaigh

Several months ago I got this great idea. Okay, it was not my idea but it was a great one.

On my way home one day from work I ran by Mardel to pick up a youth devotional book. I found a really great one by Josh McDowell and purchased it.

I was really excited to get started doing devotions with my two teen daughters. I imagined their excitement every evening as we got together to do a devotional.

“Daddy, are we going to do a devotion tonight?”

Maybe it works like that in the homes of other families but it does not work that way around here.

I am not complaining about my daughters. They are both amazing in their own ways. They are just normal teen girls, and they do not spend their days in anticipation of when I am going to gather us together to do a devotional. They do not flat out refuse; I can just tell it is not their foremost thought.

As a result our devotional time has been sporadic to say the least. The evenings get away from us for various reasons. Since it is summer there are sleep overs, youth outings and other activities that have us all going in different directions.

Last week I was sharing my frustration with our lack of devotional time with my wife, Julie. She said something very profound; I want to share it with you.

“James, trying matters.”

I sat back in my chair as a wave of God’s truth flowed over me.

I am so results oriented that I sometimes lose site of the simple truth that just getting up, and doing something has value. Even if my girls never initiate our time together. Even if they act like it is the furthest thing from their minds. The fact that I put some effort towards mentoring them, and attempting to build a deeper relationship with them has value in itself.

Not everything we do has to bring about amazing results overnight.

Sometimes the value in what we are doing is, we are trying.

James Dibben

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James is absolutely passionate about men's ministry. It is his belief than every man has been ordained by God to achieve great things for the kingdom of heaven.

2 responses to Trying Matters

  1. You must have been reading my mind because I was just going to ask you about this the other day. I was curious if you had been sticking to your plan, which I think is a great one, and how it was going.

    Julie is right, trying does matter. We’ve heard the story of the sower and various messages on planting seeds so many times that it is easy to get immune to it and forget the fundamental truth that we are planting seeds in the lives of others everywhere we go, with everything we do. Seeds are small things. Sometimes so very small that they seem frail, insignificant, and not worth much. But they grow. Some do anyway. And repeated planting and watering produces fruit.

    It has nothing at all to do with us, it is the laws that God set in motion when He created the universe and when I can take a step back and realize that my job is the easy one and that the results are all on Him, it fills me with tremendous peace.

    Your daughters are getting something out of this and trust me, they will remember that part of your life together fondly as they grow up. You are not only planting the life-giving Word in them, but you are creating family traditions, family moments, and those often seem forgettable when they happen, but then you look back and get all these warm feelings about the traditions you have. Tori brings things up every so often that I don’t even think about and it makes me glad that I did them. It also makes me wish I had done more.

    In spite of the truth packed into Yoda’s most famous statement, trying does matter. There is a try, and we should keep at it.

    • Hopefully when school starts back up it will be easier. We have purposefully let the girls have a loose schedule this summer.

      This has been an amazing summer for both Lydia and Jessica. They have been to youth camp, helped the homeless in St. Louis and are helping with VBS this week.

      I’m very proud of them both!

      During school time we were doing devotional on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays fairly regularly. I look forward to getting back on that schedule.