A Wasted Day?
I read an interesting bulletin article recently about James Boswell, the famous biographer of Samuel Johnson. From what I understand, Boswell often referred to a special day from his childhood in which his father took him fishing. It made a deep impression upon the boy--so much so that the day was still firmly fixed in his mind as an adult. Boswell regularly reflected upon many of the things his father had taught him while fishing.

It just so happened that Boswell's father kept a journal. Someone who was impressed by all that Boswell said about that day of fishing decided to look that day up in the father's journal to consider the parental perspective. Turning to that date, the reader found only one sentence entered: "Gone fishing today with my son; a day wasted."

As I type what the father wrote about his day, tears come to my eyes. To my shame, sometimes I feel the same way as Boswell's father. I'm driven to be "productive" (as are many fathers like me), but do we even really know what "productive" is?

Few have heard of Boswell's father, but many have heard of Boswell. In spite of the father's relative obscurity, he evidently inspired his boy in a great way--and he didn't even realize it at the time! What he thought was a wasted day touched his son's life and the world of classical literature, indirectly.

It's a shame Boswell's father couldn't appreciate the significance of a day fishing and what was being learned even while worms were being squeezed onto hooks. No day is ever wasted in the life of an effective father, and may we never forget it! There is a time for everything (cf. Eccl. 3), and some aspects of productivity and success can't be measured in real-time.

"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4).