Four Ways to Waste the Fourth

Today is the 3rd of July. Know what that means, right? A month from now will be the 3rd of August.

Oh yeah – it also means tomorrow is the 4th of July.

It’s the holiday where we Americans go to the lake, fire up the grill, eat way too much watermelon and homemade ice cream, and get in trouble with their wives for spending too much on and getting too crazy with fireworks.

Oh yeah, it’s also the day where we celebrate our freedom as a country.

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I love the 4th of July. I don’t go to the office. I love to eat. I have pyromaniac tendencies. And I get to mow the grass (seriously, I love mowing the grass . . . MY grass. . not yours – though I will mow yours for a nice fee).

I don’t want to waste the time ‘off’ I have tomorrow. I am pretty sure you don’t either. So let’s make a new ‘Declaration’ not to do the following (Did you catch what I did there? ‘Declaration’? We are celebrating the ‘Declaration of Independence’. Get it? Okay, sorry). . .

#1. Bring Work Home.

Leave it at the office. Or stay an extra 30 minutes today to get it done. Go in a little early on Friday. Do whatever you have to do to leave it at the office. If you bring it home, you will wish you hadn’t. If you leave it there you’ll be glad you did.

#2. Watch TV all Day.

Seriously, has anyone said this after watching hours of TV (especially during the day): “man, I am so glad I spent the whole day sittin’ my fat behind in front of this flat screen watching Full House reruns and eating Oatmeal Cream Pies”? No. Leave it turned off tomorrow. Get outside. Go play a game of hide and seek with your kids. Make some sweet tea and sit on the front porch. Take your kids golfing with you. Try to hit squirrels with bottle rockets. Turn off the TV and leave it off.

#3. Indulge in ‘Me Time’.

This one is especially for us dads who leave home everyday to go to the office (or wherever ‘work’ is for you). Don’t consider tomorrow as YOUR day to only do what YOU want to do. Think about how you can serve your wife and your kids. Give them your “Me Time” and turn it into “We Time.” I can almost guarantee your kids are thrilled that you aren’t going to the office tomorrow and your spouse is ecstatic there will be a break from the ‘norm’ with you home. I can also guarantee you will feel more fulfilled when you give yourself to those you love rather than giving to yourself all day.

#4. Treat it the Same. 

Tomorrow is not the same as any other day. It is different. Treat it that way. Meditate on your freedom as a U.S. Citizen, but also spend a few minutes meditating on your freedom in Christ. Have some friends over. Invite yourself over to a friends’ house. Go watch some fireworks somewhere. Come up with your own family ‘4th of July’ annual ritual (what family wouldn’t have a blast doing a watermelon seed spittin’ contest every year or dueling bottle rocket wars?!?!?!).

Wanna waste the fourth? Pursue these four things. Wanna enjoy it? Run from them faster than running from a firework that gets stuck in its ‘holster’ just before it explodes.

What are some ways you and your family celebrate the Fourth? Don’t keep them to yourself – share your wisdom!

[By the way in case you’re looking for Five Ways to Waste the Fifth (in Jail), I would recommend: (1). Purchasing $200 worth of fireworks; (2). Set your alarm for 3 am; (3). Put on all black clothing – complete with mask; (4). Walk to your neighbors bedroom window; and (5). Proceed slowly – one by one – to light the purchased firework merchandise.]

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