Spirit & Truth # 209
“My Dearly Loved Son”
By Rev. Greg Smith
Having resolved this New Year to be more intentional about finding recreation (re-creation) time, this pastor took the week after Christmas to do just that. Admittedly, my staycation (a vacation where you stay at home) wasn’t all recreation—my thirteen-year-old Lydia got a freshly painted bedroom out of the deal—but overall it’s been a great week. While our three teenagers went on a fun trip with the church youth group, my wife and I took our eight-year-old so to a movie one day and to an indoor water park the next. It was nice spending exclusive time with Daniel, as I don’t get the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with each of my kids individually, as much as I’d like.
Today, armed with a pocket full of Christmas money and accompanied by my (gasp) man-sized, fifteen-year-old son, I went canoe-shopping in West Virginia. Today was a day full of lessons. For his part, Aaron learned a few things. He learned that his dear old dad is secretly a wheeler-dealer, able to haggle a seller down to 3/5 of his original price. He also learned that he can talk to his dad about absolutely anything—our eight-hour round-trip journey proved that true.
I learned a lot today, too. For instance, that I should measure the width of my roof-rack and get the breadth of the canoe from the seller before I make an eight-hour round-trip journey. (A poor fit, we didn’t buy it, even for 3/5 of the original price.) I also learned to appreciate my mannish son, able to lift heavy canoes on his broadening shoulders. In addition, something occurred to me about my growing boy as we followed a total stranger I’d contacted through Craigslist, down lonely mountain roads to his back-woods cabin where nobody could hear us scream. (At this point, I began to question my own fatherly wisdom.) What occurred to me was that, should the unlikely horror-movie scene take place, my son had my back. Yes, Aaron is growing up. I invited him along with me just to help lift heavy things, but I learned a great lesson today—I can totally trust my son.
Reflecting on this brings to mind the heavenly Father’s words at Jesus’ baptism: "This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy (Matthew 3:17 NLT)." It’s exciting, watching your children grow into maturity and realizing that you can trust them. I wonder—does our Father take this kind of delight in us? After all the effort He’s put into raising us, have we shown Him that He can trust us? As I grow to maturity, I hope that I’ve learned that I can talk with my heavenly Father about absolutely anything. I hope that takes delight in watching me grow. And I hope that along the way I might earn His trust.
I hope the same for you.
(Here's a picture of the Pelican Bayou 160 I didn't buy today.)