A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…Just kidding!
This story begins about two weeks ago on my commute home from work. It was Saturday, and I’d been called in to work for whatever it is that we get called into work for on Saturdays, and I was finally on my way home. I was sad that part of my weekend had been wasted away from my family, but excited I was headed home to see them.
I remember walking through the front door and as always, the squeals and yells "Daddy, Daddy, DADDYYYYY!!!" filled the air.
It’s always overwhelming, but I did what I always do and gave them hugs and kisses, a miscellaneous high-five making it in there as usual.
I was tired, and by then just wanted to shuck my uniform. I remember my son following me to my room while trying to explain his attempt at making a scooter (or some-such) utilizing a two-by-four and a skateboard truck he’d found somewhere.
He was so excited, and I ruined it.
I did the typical Dad thing. I looked at his special project, pronounced he didn’t have the right parts, and brushed him off.
To my ever-lasting shame, I did something I told myself I would never do. I took something special, an adventure, a treasure, the opportunity to bond with my son and a potential Biblical teaching moment, and ground it under the heel of convenience.
That’s a memory he may or may not forget, but it ate away at me like something corrosive in my stomach. I tried to make amends, spending time with legos, treating to ice-cream etc., but my memory was unforgiving. It wasn’t until later in the week that I went to my knees late at night and asked God for His forgiveness. Why not my son? I did that later as well, but I had forgotten that dwelling on my shortcomings just made things worse, and perpetuated a cycle of never ending guilt.
It got me thinking. We get so caught up in the daily grind that we forget something. We are called to be God’s first ambassador to our families, and as such we are often the first introduction of God’s love to our children. We are not just hang-out buddies, car rides, and college tuitions.
Deuteronomy 6: 5-9 says it perfectly...
"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
We are Priests, Prophets, Providers, and Protectors!
My prayer for today-
Father God, thank you for loving us! We ask you surround us with your Holy Spirit and give us the confidence, bearing, and ability to love as You do! Let your light shine through our words and actions. Give us the desire to seek you out in all things. Help our hearts be more like Yours, and provide us the courage to be the men of God we are called to be for the families we care for in Your Holy name. Amen!