Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Postponed Father

I can't remember who said it, but I like it. "The older I get, the smarter my Dad becomes." That wasn't a comment on his Dad's aging, but one his own maturing. I never got to experience that as a son, but I think I'm getting to experience it as a Dad - with adult kids. I think every parent goes through moments where they can't wait for their children to get older - move on to the next level of growing up. You can't wait for them to walk, talk, dress themselves, turn on the TV without waking you up on Saturday morning, fix their own cereal, go to school, catch and throw a ball, sit still in a restaurant, and so on and so on. Hopefully, most of the time, you simply enjoy who they are and where they are in life, and at times, even find yourself wishing they could stay like they are for ever - until it's diaper changing time again.
I wonder how God, our great Father who gave us life, looks at us through out our life. I can see Him smiling at my crazy antics as I learn painful lessons about what not to do in life. I can see Him enjoying me, each day, and never being anxious for me to "move on" to the next stage. But I can also see Him wanting me to want Him. Waiting patiently for me to realize what an awesome Father He is - smart, loving, totally trustworthy, and totally on my side. I can see His hurt as I stumble along being distracted by selfishness, sin, seeking the approval of people, and worshipping a career as if it was going to matter in fifty years.
Is He a "postponed Father" to me? A Father I put off appreciating, respecting, and truly loving while I, like Solomon, gave myself over to the pleasures of this world? No, like a Dad, He was always there, and I always knew it. I would occasionally drop Him a line and acknowledge His existence - knowing that someday, I would need to give serious thought to how much I really wanted to draw close to Him.
I did. I grew up spiritually. And you know what? I'm amazed at how much He loved me - in spite of me. He never gave up on me and He never stopped cheering for me from the sidelines of my busy life. He patiently waited for me to grow up. He is not a postponed Father any longer. Yes, the older I get, the smarter my Dad has been.

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