I spent most of the day toting my two girls around on various errands. From the dentist for Caroline this morning, to the drugstore in our old hometown for Orangeades, we were all over the place. They actually did really well, being drug around with me on a day that included oil changes and a trip to Wally-World.
It was a good day, but the moment that stuck with me above all others was when Caroline crowned me the “best dad EVER” after I checked out the 17th DVD in the “Buddies” series (those talking Golden Retrievers that Mickey and Co. have pushed on us) at Redbox.
Really? That’s all it took? Who knew?!! I thought I’d have to do so much more to gain that title! Sorry all you other dads out there!
I laughed to myself and smiled as she kissed me on the cheek. What a sweet kid. But best dad ever? For a movie?
It got me thinking about how I was with my dad as a kid, how I’d “work” all day with him on a Saturday with the hopes that he’d take me to the toy store for a new G.I. Joe action figure. Boy, I’d lay it on thick!
It didn’t take much for me to dole out compliments when things went the way I wanted them to go. It wasn’t that I didn’t mean it (and I hope Caroline meant it, too!), but it occurred to me that those emotions never came out when my dad wasn’t giving me stuff. They certainly didn’t when he was disciplining me for something!
Yet, it was in those times that I didn’t recognize it…no, when I doubted his love at all, that my dad was being the best dad ever. It was in those times that he was correcting my misplaced steps that he was helping me become the man I am today.
Don’t get me wrong, because the good times factored in just as much, but that’s not my point in this post. My point is that we reserve our praise only for when things are going our way at that very moment. I’ve thank my dad time and time again for how he raised me later, but I didn’t thank him for it when I was a kid going through it.
Hmmmmm….don’t we view our heavenly Father in the same way? When life is coming up roses, it’s easy to sing praise. Yet when we’re going through it, it’s not always our first response, is it?
Reading Job now, and when his life fell apart, Job’s response still blows me away:
“And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21
I’ve seen that lived out in front of me, and I can even say that I’ve responded that way myself, yet it’s not our natural reaction.
But it’s one we need to cultivate.