Look, Dad, Look!

Maria and the oldest went to some home party together tonight, which left me and the younger two to fend for ourselves for dinner. I had to run to my sister's too, so we hit the Golden Arches on the way home. We sat outside in the play area and after all the fries and nuggets were consumed they abandoned me for the play area.

There were a few other kids and parents there too. I was just enjoying a warm summer evening while the kids played when this little boy posed on the slide. Proud of himself, he called to his father, "Daddy! Look daddy! Daddy, LOOK!"

His dad looked over and nodded in appreciation and I was struck with that scene. The child hadn't really done anything remarkable, just sat on the edge of the slide, somewhat precariously. But he thought it was cool, and he wanted his Dad to see what he could do. He wanted his Dad to acknowledge his accomplishment.

It made me think about our relationship with our father. We act this way too. We remember to share our faith, we have a good prayer time, we give some good advice or post something we think is profound and we pat our selves on the back. We may even say to God, in prayer, "Father! Look, father. Father, LOOK! I loved someone, I noticed them! I did something nice, I remembered. Look father!"

I'm not talking about the prideful moments we have, thinking were something we aren't. I'm talking about the healthy pride, the sense of accomplishment. Last Sunday we had an outdoor service at a local park. It was a fair distance from the parking to the area we had service. All the teachers were bowing to take our communion around a picnic table. The prayer was being said and I noticed one of the older brothers making his way across the field, carrying a plastic chair to sit on. He was obviously laboring, so I left the table in the middle of the prayer to go help him out. I came back and took my communion and I had one of those moments. In the past I wouldn't had left the prayer, that wasn't right. I would have let him struggle across the field. But this time I was proud of myself for making this choice to help a brother out instead of legalisticly staying for the prayer. It was a better choice. "Look father! Look, I chose people over ceremony! LOOK!"

I like to think of God like the father of that boy at the McD's, smiling politely. "That's great, son." But in his heart, he knows I've not really done anything great. He thinks, Son, that's great, but it's only start of what I have in mind for you. In the grand scheme of life, your choice, though noble, is so small. I came that you would make a life of such choices. One day you'll understand.

As that boy grows, he won't be so proud of those little things and he father won't be as impressed with them either. You can't imagine a 16 year old perched on a slide saying "Look, dad!" Dad would be disappointed if that's what his son settled for. In some way I wonder, after 17 years of following Him, is God a little disappointed that I'm still proud of such little accomplishments? I wonder if He didn't think I would be a little farther along this journey of becoming by now.

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.

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