Last weekend a girl who is going to be a senior in high school asked me what I have learned since becoming a dad. Whew, big question. At least she gave me the courtesy of a whole 45 seconds to think of an answer before I got to my car. I didn’t know how to encapsulate all that I have learned in that moment, but this past Monday God revealed a huge piece of himself to me through the lens of my own role as a father.
While talking about what it means to be child of God with some college students I remembered one of the great moments of my days, the moment when my two year old looks up at me and says, “I DID IT!” For Brylie everything that she does on her own, or perceives to have done on her own, is a moment worth celebrating! Right now these joyous celebrations take place about 25 times a day, each no less worthy of a parade than the last. My greatest moments as a dad are to be there with my daughter in her delight!
Then I began to think of the many friends I have who grew up without an earthly dad. I’ve heard the stories, seen the looks in their eyes, and felt regret in their hearts when they talk about the moments of delight that were not able to be shared with their own dad. It’s heart breaking. I thought, “What if my daughter did something that brought her great delight and she turned to say, ‘I DID IT!’ and Christina or I weren’t there to delight with her?” There have been those moments where she runs from room to room looking for one of us to share the moment with. I cannot imagine not being there.
For the first time in my life I was able to articulate one of the great truths about being a Child of God. Beyond just having our Heavenly Father around to comfort us in the dark days of life, we have a Holy Father who DELIGHTS WITH US IN THE BRIGHTEST MOMENTS OF LIFE! Think about that for a moment! How many times in my day, week, or year, do I do something that I legitimately think is awesome!
Making it down the ski slope with my snowboard still attached to my feet! I DID IT!
Introducing myself to that person I keep seeing at Starbucks, who is clearly hurting, just so that I can call them by name when I say “Hi!”. I DID IT!
Saying no to something that keeps me out one more night so that I can be home with my family on what ends up being an average night just to remind me and them that they are my priority. I DID IT!
Writing two blog posts in a week! I DID IT!
So many of us get lost in our celebrations or find the joys in our life leaving us a bit short because we run from place to place, person to person, addiction to addiction looking for someone or something to delight with us. Our soul is teased and is busting at the seam because there is no truer fulfillment in our delight than with when we celebrate with the one who knows fully the magnitude and process of what was just accomplished. The one who was there from the beginning, who saw potential in you and called it out, and the one who, in that moment, allowed you to be apart of accomplishing something great.
There are so many moments that our Heavenly Father wants to delight in with us, because He is a part of every single one of them! In every moment he is there working with us, standing behind us, sitting next to us, call us forward, and when we do things right, it is worth celebrating!
Be attentive this week in the moments where you can turn to your Heavenly, Ever-Present Father and say, “I DID IT!” so that the two of you may delight together as Father and Child.
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
– Zephaniah 3:17