FTW.45 Spiritual Sloth?

Fatherhood in a Technological World – Message #45

What can help you differentiate if all the extra hours you are putting into your job or work is rooted in a weakness in your character or if it is part of your “calling” to excel at your chosen profession?

Blogger’s Note: After taking a week off from blogging for the Christmas Holidays, I sit and wonder if a video I made in early November would still be relevant as we approach the new year? With a sigh of relief, the next video in line has to do with being a Spiritual Sloth.  How appropriate during the Christmas Season to reflect on spiritual development.  Most of us could go through Christmas without encountering any significant spiritual message, much less lead a prayer, which is awfully odd since Christmas is not at its core a day to pass out presents, but to recognize, whether you are or not a Christian or even religious, that something truly significant happened about 2000 years ago that can help explain the existence of humankind at its very heart and soul.

Another way I think about this blog, it’s my fatherhood journal… fatherhood with a technology thorn stuck in my side. If you identify with what I write, hopefully you can gain some value for yourself from my experiences, mistakes, or insights. Helping you become a better father, parent, or human being would be worth my effort to publish this on this public forum.

Would I like to be able to spend more time driving and working on my car? Yes. But there will be time for that. I have faith!


Spiritual Sloth – Weakness in the Triad

In order for this concept to take root, you would have to acknowledge that there is a spiritual aspect to the human condition. Notice I did not say Christian, although I am. Whatever your spiritual or religious inclination or practice, even if you are an atheist, practicing, developing yourself in three general areas of life is necessary otherwise you risk becoming a sloth, maybe even an super hard working or hyper-achieving… sloth.

In the video, I generically describe three areas that need balancing: Work, mental-emotional and spiritual. If they are not in balance then one area can spin out of control.

Another way to break down the balancing act, is: Work, Play, Family, Rest, Spiritual work.

As the leader of your family, if you are not taking responsibility for yourself, then you are not  able to help guide your family, at least in not any intentional way. While your dependents may come to terms on their own over their lifetimes, its generally understood that your role model as a parent serves as a model or how your children will relate to God in their lives.

Sometimes, parents take their children off the deep-end and unless those children are very self-aware, they could live a life in total backlash, trying to find refuge at the other opposite extreme.

There’s another saying: We spend our adult life working out all the problems we experience as children. A significant part of that life-long problem are the relationship issues we experienced with our parents.

For those of you who might be suffering from workaholism or other ‘ism’, something to consider: Necessity is the mother of invention (or achievement, such as getting a job or making ends meet), and over-necessity is the mother of tension.

You as a father and as a husband, will benefit in understanding how this balancing act fits into your life and lifestyle.


My Story: Going to Church is a Step

In regards to the following, I am just sharing a few of my personal experiences how I needed to fill a spiritual need that was, in many ways easy to ignore. It wasn’t until this year that my wife and I finally decided our family should go to Sunday church on a regular basis.

For many years, since my children were born, I reasoned that it wasn’t necessary to attend Sunday church (I call it Sunday church to differentiate services from the body of Christ which is the “Church”).

I had refrained for various reasons such as my wife was rooted in another faith and the sermons at the church  where I grew up, despite the many traditions I was familiar with, were decidedly too biased toward political activism at the sacrifice of personally-applied Biblical teaching. Listening to radio programs like “Family Life” became a surrogate for the local church, the problem was, just listening to the radio going to and from work wasn’t directly exposing my family to a church community and teachings.

I did help my children become exposed to simple Bible teachings through children’s books and bedtime reading, saying grace before dinner, and having some simple traditions for Christmas and Easter. I helped my wife though an occasional open prayer and also attending a Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference sponsored by Family Life.

Over the years, however, through quiet and really inconsistent prayer and being aware how being secure in my faith helped me survive through many desperate times in life, living that simple way began to work on my need to be more of a leader within my own family. My change had been gradual. Although my wife grew up as a Buddhist, even she would begin to see the benefit of our family having a stronger Christian prayer life and an attachment to a local Christian church.

This year brought some significant changes and the friends of faith who have helped us for many years with the preschool education of our children, being caring and non-judgmental, were important in the decisions my family made to accept the Christian faith and as Jesus as Lord and Savior. I think we live in decent harmony with our multiculturalism.

As a result, I was moved to start regularly attending another church nearby that clearly meets the needs of my family, although at the loss of the old familiar style of Sunday church I grew up with and my mother still attends.

As a leader, you often need to find what works best, not just for you personally, but works best for who you are responsible for. Not for a particular denomination or organization, but make decisions based on how you believe you can help your family get connected to God.

Therefore, we’ve become part of a church community that offers “come as you are” services, easy-to-sing songs to modern music sung by young rock musicians, clear presentation, very professional, effective and impactful sermons that I resonate with, and free donuts (those help, the kids are bandits for those).

Tithing. Like most things spiritual and also in personal development, you are not just doing service for others, but you are really doing it for yourself. Helping others makes you a better person. The spiritual feedback you get for striving to do the right things is a reward. I expect my children to give from their allowances a part to the church so we all have something to put into the basket every week.


In Closing

Wow, this article took me a longer time to write than usual! What’s your story and how are you keeping the Triad in balance? Are you working like insanity in one area and hanging from your toe nails in a deep sleep on the other?



About Fatherhood in a Technological World

Fathers of young children in today’s modern society are facing unprecedented challenges with the wave of technology allowing ever easier access to the internet. The effect on your children has and will have a great influence on their growth. As a parent, you may be feeling the anxiety of having to confront the challenges of being at the end of the rail of the powerful forces driving technology into the laps and hands of your children.

Your work is cut out for you are a father. Even though popular culture doesn’t do well to herald the value of the leadership role of men in the form of fathers, let me tell you right now, being a father in this time and age has never been more important.

Click here to read the complete pilot blog article for FTW

Use what you find that may be helpful and share some of your own insights in my comments.

Tag along for the ride and let’s see if we can cover some common ground.


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