I am NOT a football fan, but an article caught my eye on Monday and it made me pause… unfortunately I didn’t have time yesterday to write. But the New England Patriots replaced receiver Tiquan Underwood, the night before the Super Bowl. And from what I can tell (especially since they put him back on the team a couple days after the game) it was not due to any illegal activity, any D.U.I (sorry Hines and several others), or any accusations of rape (sorry Ben), etc… It was because they thought someone else could do the job better – but guess what they still lost the game. Crazy how players who are in trouble with the law are NOT replaceable, but the night before a big game you suddenly are replaceable.
I use to be naive enough to believe that I was “irreplaceable” at work. I mean, I am a dedicated employee, give it 110%, never call off, rarely late, willing to switch my schedule to meet the needs of the department. IN fact, I use to believe I was so “irreplaceable’ that I would work on my days off, work on vacation, work every holiday, work on birthdays, etc… Do you get the point?
That feeling / belief all changed this December when we were going toFlorida. I had request 2 weekends + weekdays for a total of 12 days I believe. I have NEVER taken 2 weeks off of work in the 7 years in my job. And, they almost were not able to give me the two weekends off. It did get resolved and I had the time, but it really made me think. I resolved at that point I was taking the TIME OFF. I was enjoying the family, the weather, the experience. I only turned on my computer for Samuel to use. When I returned I had 100s of messages – but not one was “we really missed you”, “harm was caused by your absences”, “we barely made it without you”. The funny thing is I don’t believe many even knew I was gone because of emails I received. I learned I AM REPLACABLE at work…
And in hindsight, by doing all that work when I could have / should have been enjoying the vacations, etc… (but justified by saying I worked while they slept), did I send the message to my family that they are REPLACABLE? That I can replaced my time with them for work…. Never thought about it like that before, but isn’t that what I did. I REPLACED what should have been my TOP PRIORITY with a lesser priority. That is as crazy as eliminating a player on super bowl but not eliminating players for crimes and being crappy role models! The sad thing is all the REPLACING work for time with family didn’t cost anyone but my family. Work never noticed.
In society, it has gotten too easy to REPLACE people — husband/wives REPLACE their spouses because adultery/divorce is acceptable, we REPLACE stress with bad habits (drinking, over eating, smoking), we REPLACE our values / ethics to “fit in”, we REPLACE our time at church with sleeping in, we REPLACE our time with family for FaceBook, we REPLACE teaching winning/loosing to kids by “everyone must win”, we REPLACE friends because they no longer meet our needs, and the list goes on.
REPLACEMENT can be a great thing when we reverse our thinking – when we REPLACE our bad habits for a healthy lifestyle, when we REPLACE our complaining with a solution to the problem, when we REPLACE gossiping about someone to praying for them, when we REPLACE our bad attitude for gratitude, when we REPLACE bragging for humility, REPLACE time on computer and facebook with family time or devotional time, REPLACE worry for prayer, etc.. I know that Lent is coming up (Wednesday, February 22, 2012 – Saturday, April 07, 2012 ) – how about not only giving up something but REPLACING it with something positive.
On a Blog earlier I discussed LOVE… I think more than ever I not only need to show my family and friends LOVE but I need to make them feel IRREPLACEABLE (which by definition is NOT able to be replaced; UNIQUE). I try to be fair (example if one gets a gift they both do). But am I good at celebrating their UNIQUENESS everyday or does routine get in the way? Does my husband know he is the ONLY one for me? Does he know that every time he leaves for a firefighter call I pray because I can’t imagine life without him! Do they know that they cannot be REPLACED – have my actions spoken that? Or do they feel when I exchange work / computer time for time with them that they are being REPLACED (of course, my children must understand that work is necessary at times – but I need to learn that boundary – and am definitely working on that). How often have I not been there for friends when they needed me – have they felt REPLACED by my busy life? Do I celebrate their uniqueness??
Even Christ, who watches over ALL of His children makes us feel UNIQUE – IRREPLACEABLE! He knows the number of the hairs on my head (Matthew 10:31). He sent His son to die for MY sins (John 3:16). He is NEVER too busy to hear my prayers – including not sleeping (Psalm 121:4). He created and knows my UNIQUENESS (Psalms 139:13).
Dear Lord, may I celebrate and know the uniqueness of those I love. Help my actions / words demonstrate that they are IRREPLACEABLE to me! Guide me to REPLACE my negative thoughts/actions/habits with pleasing and acceptable examples. And, lastly may my actions / words demonstrate that you Lord are IRREPLACEABLE in my life!