Special Occasions

No man knows when his hour will come.
Ecclesiastes 9:12

Linda’s mother had died, and author Faith Andrews Bedford was helping her friend go through her mother’s things after the funeral. Linda opened a drawer and pulled out a set of linen place mats and matching napkins still in their original box.

“Mother bought these when she and Dad went to Ireland fifteen years ago,” she said, running her fingers over the embroidery. “She never used them—said they were for a special occasion.”

Next, Linda opened a corner cupboard and took down a set of crystal glasses. “She never used these, either,” Linda said. “She bought them in Chicago and declared that we’d all get to toast Dad and her on their fiftieth wedding anniversary. But then Dad died after their forty-eighth. They had all those years to use these lovely glasses instead of waiting for a day that would never be shared.”

From her mother’s closet upstairs, Linda pulled out a blue silk dress with rhinestone buttons. The price tag was still attached.

“Let me guess,” Faith said. “For another special occasion?” Linda nodded sadly.

Do you ever find yourself thinking like Linda’s mother, saving your very best—all the special things you’d like to say to or do with your family—for some future occasion? Have you considered the possibility that such a moment might never arrive?

Life is a precious gift from our loving Lord—yet it is also fleeting. As James the brother of Jesus wrote, each of us is “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14). Solomon, meanwhile, advises us to find meaning in God and not to waste His gifts: “Eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love” (Ecclesiastes 9:7–9).

With our hectic schedules, it’s so easy for us to put off enjoying our time with those we love. Rather than waiting for “someday,” I hope that you and your family will begin to treat every day as a special occasion.
- Shirley M Dobson

Illustration adapted from “Special Occasions” by Faith Andrews Bedford, Country Living, November 1999.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.