I arrived in Tokyo this evening, after a long flight from Singapore... and time before in Hong Kong and Shanghai. I've been on the road for two weeks now, and I'm really ready to get home.
I took my oldest son to college in Indiana on August 25-26, left home for Denver on business on the 28th, came home for a few hours and then was off on this trip to Asia. I've got to say, I've got emotional vertigo!
I know I'm not the first dad who pulled off the side of a road after leaving his son - the pride of his life - at college and felt the mixture of pride and happiness about the new life beginning, and the deep profound sadness of another way of life ending. Work, and all of its problems seem so very, very little in the light that life slipping away. I don't know about you, but I didn't wish that I had spent more time at the office. :)
Here in the Asia, and in ex-pat financial community (at least the little I've seen), everyone seems to have young kids... age 3 or 5, maybe 7. They work long hours here, with a lot of travel away, and when we're out to eat, they seemed surprised that I want to talk about family - almost as if it's the last thing on their mind. All I can think about is that I wish they had that time of life back!
What a waste jobs - no, careers - can be. You know, if you take the relocation to Hong Kong or Singapore, you can get tax breaks, housing allowances, nannies, all sorts of creature comforts, but the cost is that you uproot your family and breach any type of community you had. Your life literally becomes your work. What a hollow life...
Living - working, eating dinner - with these guys here has made me realize again how precious time is... how radically expensive it is to spend, because you can't recover it no matter how hard you work, or how much you want to pay.
Well, my son's on his way, and I'm still going too. But I'm not wasting any more time with the other three still at home. While it's still today, I want to make life count for our Lord, and my wife and my kids. They're the best gift humanly speaking I have - that I could ever imagine.
So, maybe it's the room in the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Maybe it's too many dinners out with people with no life. Or maybe its a gift - a reminder to count the days, and redeem the time... Anyway, if the kids are getting on your nerves, or you're going to bed mad at your wife, or if you're knotted up about the job, do youself a favor:
Take a mental trip with me to Asia, and remember the gifts God's given you right there at home... take the time while you still have it.