Question: Your description of the caterpillar fits my family perfectly. We live an exhausting lifestyle but just can't seem to find a way to slow down. I am even depressed at times about how hard we work and how little time we have for ourselves. Do you have any last word of advice for us?
Answer: Let me share something that may help you and your husband make the tough choices on which a slower lifestyle could depend. Do you remember Vince Foster, who reportedly committed suicide during the early days of the Clinton administration? He was deputy counsel to the president before that tragic night of his death on July 20, 1993. Just eight weeks earlier, Foster had been asked to speak to students graduating from the University of Arkansas School of Law. This is what he told the students on that occasion:
A word about family. You have amply demonstrated that you are achievers willing to work hard, long hours and set aside your personal lives. But it reminds me of that observation that no one was ever heard to say on a deathbed, I wish I had spent more time at the office. Balance wisely your professional life and your family life. If you are fortunate to have children, your parents will warn you that your children will grow up and be gone before you know it. I can testify that it is true. God only allows us so many opportunities with our children to read a story, go fishing, play catch and say our prayers together. Try not to miss a one of them.
Vince Foster's words now echo back to us from eternity. While you're climbing the ladder of success, don't forget your own family. Those years with your children at home will be gone in a heartbeat. Do whatever is necessary to grab those precious moments, whether it requires changing jobs, getting a smaller house, or turning down lucrative and exciting opportunities. Nothing is worth losing your kids. Nothing!
Book: Bringing Up Boys
By Dr. James Dobson