Family Meeting

Do you hang out with your mom and dad, your brother and sister? Do you write them a lot or call them on the phone often? I don’t. Not that I have anything against them, it’s just that I don’t seem to have the time.

One January my dad called and asked me to attend a family meeting in Phoenix. My first response was to whine. Not obvious whining, just the kind of, “Well, I don’t know, I’m pretty busy,” kind of whining. My excuse didn’t work though, because when I heard all of my brothers and sisters were going to be there, I knew I couldn’t miss it. I prayed that God would give me grace with them and help me to see what He wanted me to see.

I was there less than 24 hours, but in that time God opened my eyes to see some things about this family of mine I had never seen before. First, I noticed the people I had grown up with had become little more than acquaintances. We simply had gotten so busy with our own lives that we forgot to remember we were family.

Second, I realized they were adults just like me. I was listening to them talk about their lives, and began to see them in a new way. They weren’t the annoying little sister or the bullying big brother that I had so long remembered them to be. Instead, they were adults with their own dreams, joys and hopes.

They had grown up and I shouldn’t have been surprised. If I could grow up a little, so could they. I realized these people gathered around the room telling family stories were God’s gift to me, if I would only open up my life and heart to receive them while I still have the opportunity.

Looking back, I realized our family meeting hadn’t produced some new resolution or new set of objectives. Instead, I came back with a thankful heart. Thankful for the lessing that God had given me in my family. Thankful for a mom and dad and brothers and sisters that put up with me—even loved me. And most of all, thankful for the chance to find that out.

Excerpted with permission from Ordinary Faith, by Clay Lein, pastor of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, in Frisco, TX. For more information, visit or to purchase Ordinary Faith, visit

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