My Father’s Call
I woke early this morning, earlier than usual. My mind was racing, remembering. I spoke at Beast Feast last night and described God’s intentions toward us and those words were taking me back in time.
My dad was like most dads. He set boundaries for me when I was younger. In my childhood, I had a healthy fear of respect for him, so I was compliant. But like every one of my peers, when I reached adolescence, I began to feel the pressure of those boundaries. Most of us don’t respond well to rules that we don’t understand. I didn’t either until I could see the consequences of someone else’s choices. It confronted my rebelling and I was ready to honor those boundaries.
When I became a dad, I found myself creating boundaries for my boys. They had a choice on how they viewed those, just as I had when I was answering my own dad. I could see those boundaries as controlling mechanisms only, believing that my dad somehow would find pleasure in robbing me of life, of controlling my life (I would also have to assume that my dad really was so bored that he had nothing better to do that to dominate my life!). My other choice was believing that every boundary came from his love for me, his desire to protect me, his desire for me to be healthy emotionally, physically, and intellectually. One night at a lake, I saw his friends and their choices, and I saw and understood what my dad was trying to protect me from becoming. It was a watershed for me; I was 13.
This morning I had been in bed a little over 5 hours, but I was wide awake. My HEAVENLY Father was trying to say something to me. “Every command I gave–whether you understood it or not–was out of my love for you. Just as you loved your kids, just as your dad loved you, so I loved you and called you to this life. Can you see My love in this?” Today, as much as any day in my life, I can. It was fresh on my mind because of a conversation I had with a teenager last night.
“I hope you understand how much your dad loves you,” I said. “When I’m with him, you’re what he talks about. Your well-being is what he worries about. Your future is what his sacrifices are about. I hope you can see it. I can.”
In the quiet of the darkness this morning, God was saying the same thing to THIS son. This morning, I was ready to listen intently.