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By: John Dacey on April 27th, 2024

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Grandpa's Garden: Lose Nothing

Gospel Reflection  |  Parenting  |  family life

Families with school-age children probably more than once have had the experience of not being able to find something important — at a particularly awkward moment. When getting ready for school, an athletic event, or church service, we’ve likely all had to look for “my other shoe,” missing homework, field trip form, clean socks, and the list goes on. I remember searching under a child’s bed for the matching sock, thinking—I don’t have time for this. Anticipating what we need is a valuable skill.

Do You Have Everything You Need?



In our hectic times, we have become accustomed to everything fast, from fast food to instant replies, rapid delivery, and immediate response. We may be tempted to view taking time to think as a human weakness rather than a virtuous practice or even a dimension of our faith.

Take Time – To Listen To Yourself

Years ago, I taught a course that explored contemporary issues and their impact on religion. At the end of the course, I would ask the students what they thought was the most significant issue facing religious practice in the next decade. The answers were thoughtful and varied. One year, a student answered, “The image of God.” I’ve thought about this answer many times over the years. How we see God and how we see ourselves reflecting Him are life-changing.

The God that Jesus reveals is beyond my comprehension, yet I strive to understand. He holds me in being, close within.  Truly you have formed my inmost being…” (Psalm 139:13)

It’s helpful to keep praying, thinking, learning, listening, and loving. We lose nothing in these pursuits, and perhaps, gain everything. The Resurrection opens an unimaginable promise that love is an unbounded energy renewing the whole of creation, including all of us.


Take The Time You Need

Retirement offers me a lot of time for reflection. These days I can harvest lessons that I should have previously learned. I wish I had pursued some things I now realize were buried treasures.

The past is most valuable when it teaches us how to engage the present and be open to the future.

I think of Jesus’ parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

Let us pray in our families for the grace to recognize that some things are so valuable they’re worth taking the time.

About John Dacey

John Dacey is a retired Catholic high school teacher. He has taught Scripture, Ethics, and Social Justice. He enjoys being in the company of family, reading in the field of spirituality, and gardening. John and his wife have been married for more than 40 years and have two children and four grandchildren.