For those of you who are parents, you’ll read the title and harken back to the time when your children were small and talkative. You’ll remember when you were their whole world. You can probably reminisce in the memory of hearing your own children say those words over and over to you. It truly is sweet to hear.
My son considers me a giant. I can do nearly no wrong in his eyes. I protect him and he seeks me for all kinds of help. He knows his safety rises and sets with me. Later in life, he’ll learn am pretty messed up. He won’t seek me for help continually, as he’ll recognize my many flaws.
I was annoyed to the point of rage yesterday with my boy. Relentless, “Hey Daddy” comments or questions had piled up all afternoon. I am not exaggerating when I state to you that if he said “Hey Daddy” once, he said it one hundred times. He simply couldn’t be satisfied. There was no end to his seemingly eternal yapping. I truly was pushed to my limit, especially while trying diligently to concentrate on something else. Then it dawned on me. There will come a day when I don’t hear things like, “Hey Daddy” any longer. He’ll be up and gone, have aged in years, and have built a life for himself. I believe I’ll be included in that life. But my capacity and role will have changed somewhat by then.
So, the question before me now is a simple one. And there really is no way around it. “Will I have done my best by him?” I sincerely hope so. The future, however, is shaped by the here and now. When my beautiful boy is pestering me relentlessly with “Hey Daddy” statements or questions, do I have the grace in me to take them in stride? Am I exerting patience with him? Am I teaching him how and when “Hey Daddy” should be used best and the times when it can be held inside for a few moments?
I think about Ephesians 6:4 and Proverbs 22:6 routinely these days. When I caught myself getting chippy with a little boy who loves me with his whole heart, I really felt like a heal. My response let him down. My response let the Lord down. I can’t continue to do that.
Lord, may I learn and demonstrate patience the ways my folks offered it to me. I pray others seek patience, find it, and offer it in kind. Be salt and light my brothers and sisters. Please.