Friday, September 10, 2010

The Love of a Father

Just the other night, I met a very interesting man named Amon.   He's an older Irish gentleman, who, according to him, was apparently quite the stud back in his day.  Unfortunately, Amon suffered from a stroke about two years back and is still gaining back alot of his sharpness including his speech and small motor movements in his hands.  As I spend some time with Amon, I learn that he has lived a tough life.  Worked hard for anything he had, scrapped by in order to feed the children, lost a child, and because of depression afterwards his wife left him as well.  Amon wears a lot of sadness on his face, but there is one thing that lights him up.... his son Edward.

Amon loves his son Edward so much that just in talking about him his whole face smiles.  He describes Edwards as being "wonderful, special, and especially handsome."  This father did not see a flaw in his son, not one.  He delighted in his son's presence so much that he would rub his hands together and dance like a little child at just the simple thought of it.   Amon's eyes even filled with tears when he recalled the story of his young son looking to him and saying "Papa, I love momma, but I love you the best."  Amon undoubtedly loved his son, and saw him through wonderfully clouded goggles as only a father can... because Edward was his, and he was proud.
In hearing this father's humble adoration for his son, I couldn't help but think of how much our Papa, our heavenly Daddy, loves us.  God sees us as Amon sees Edward! He points down at us and says "you see that one, she's special! that one, she is wonderful! that one, she brings me such joy!"  Like Amon, our Papa gets giddy and lights up at the thought of our presence. Our Papa, just like Amon, he can't stop talking about us; about our achievements, about our beauty, about our perfection.  He, like Amon, soaks up all our words and is waiting for the day when we say "Papa, I love alot of things... but I love you the best!" He sees us through those wonderful eyes of a Father... because we are his, and he too is overwhelmingly proud!

Friday, September 3, 2010


I don't think we realize how many constraints we put on ourselves, or have put on us by others just in our everyday life. I'm beginning to believe that God's not really much of a fan of constraints... 

Just the other day, I realized a huge constraint in my life... time. 

If you don't know me well, I am the kind of person that always knows what time it is. In fact, I don't even take my watch off when I go to bed. Not to mention that I have a watch tan line that could compete with just about anyone! I am the kind of person that is always on time. To make it even worse, not only do I always know what time it is... I also tend to "time myself" when doing random tasks. I love having a deadline, I love competing to beat the clock, I love finishing just in time. A little weird, I know. 

So, let me set the stage for you. 

 On the world race, we are not allowed to do much of anything alone. We travel in groups (of 74, at times). We live in groups. We eat in groups. We fellowship in groups. There is always someone that you have to organize your time with in order to get things done. What's even better is that most likely the people you are living with probably will be nothing like you... meaning, just because you are the type of person that likes to be on time, or that likes things to be done quickly and efficiently does not mean that the person next to you feels the same. See where I am going with this?

While the fact that I somewhat ridiculously time oriented is no surprise to me, the fact that I often times let this idea of time consume my day is definitely a new realization. Why is it that little things like being late can sometimes totally ruin my attitude? Why is it that little things like a change in schedule can just throw me off? Why is it that I put such constraints on my life because of time? 

So, one day this week during worship I am really struggling with this idea. I am struggling with the fact that so much of my life is oriented around time. I am struggling with the idea that I probably pass up opportunities every single day because I simply don't have time. 

 Then, in a very gentle whisper I heard my Papa say "Look down at your wrist. See that watch? It's time to take it off." 

I look down at my arm and think, Seriously? My watch? I mean, it's just a watch. Besides, I have to be on time this week... we have a schedule, we have specific meeting times. I need that watch." 

He laughs at me and says "Dear child, you're right, it is just a watch, but it's time to take it off. It's time for you to work under my timing... not your own."

"Okay, so maybe you have a point, God. But, seriously... I will take it off later, I will take it off after service, maybe when we get back to the campsite, yeah maybe then... then I will have some place safe to put it."

"Child... just trust me. Right now, this very moment, let go of that's time." (Don't you just love how God uses your own words against you?) 

So, in dramatic fashion, of course... with a huge sigh of defeat, I reach down to my left wrist... slowly unbuckle my watch, and drop it to the floor... 

My watch tan still there. And, I still constantly pull up my left sleeve out of habit. But, for now the watch is packed safely away. For now, I am living under God's timing and I challenge you to do the same thing. Spend the week without having any concept of time. It will drive you crazy, it will stress you out, but it will also give you such freedom. Freedom to work under God's timing... because you never know what opportunity he might place in front of you that you think you just don't have time for.