Billy Graham at age 95 was asked what more he feels he should have done with his life.
He repeated what I heard him say years ago…that he should have studied more, prayed more, and spent more time with
I felt a pang of remembrance at that. Although Louise and I brought
up our children the Christian way, I once wrote a poem I call "The Businessman" after years in that capacity and
our three daughters had become young ladies. Here it is:
over. Yes, it’s over…how I wish that I could change it.
past has left its footsteps, and I cannot rearrange it.
New careers care not
for families, and they want your every moment,
And the years that change your
children, leave no way to make atonement.
Now that work is less demanding,
made secure by years of labor,
Now with time for my own children, they have their
own lives to savor.
No more stories read at bedtime, no more "Lay me down
to sleep" prayer.
No more hugs as off they toddle; just in memory can I
How my heart cries for their love now; wakes me in the
night to say it.
Haunts my pen and makes me write now…fills my music…makes
me play it.
Makes my singing sad and halting, makes my poems show my sorrow;
Now I pray that they forgive me and please love me…for tomorrow.
Life is such a clowning jumble, "time" and "need" so oft reversing…
Can my wife and children see how fate has muddled its disbursing?
I pray they understand it, so my thoughts can sooth and calm me;
was for their future, I was taking my own from me.
Well, our daughters
have assured me, many times, that I was always there for them and they don’t feel they were ever ignored or neglected.
And they each honor God and remember our teachings. That salves the memory, but I missed much of their every day bumps and
bruises as they grew up.
You want advice? Spend all the time you can with your
wife and children. See their plays; know their teachers. Pull them down the hall in a cardboard box when they’re small,
and build their sandbox when that time comes.
And most of all, don’t send
them…TAKE them to Sunday School and Church and practice what you preach; live the Christian life before them every
day. "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it"
(Proverbs 22:6). Here’s your priority: First, God; then family; then you.