Sunday, June 18, 2006

Lessons for a Father

The young adult Bible study I co-lead has been going through the book Who Is God? by C.S. Cowles. We’ve been in it for three weeks now and some of the discussion the book has led us into has just been fantastic. Today’s discussion centered around the idea of Jesus as Lord because of the resurrection. Last week we spent our whole hour wrestling with the concepts of if God is almighty and totally sovereign, then why do horrific things happen in the world? It’s just been brilliant discussion.

While it’s been brilliant discussion, I’ve found myself learning more about who God is lately through the gift of fatherhood. My wife and I have two of the most beautiful and brilliant boys to have walked the earth. Logan is five, Brady is 18 months. Both are as strong willed as they come, meaning as they grow, we’ve really got a challenge on our hands.

Logan, in particular, has single-handedly has cost us thousands in his five short years on the planet. Yes, thousands beyond the normal thousands that all kids cost their parents. He has broken 3 TVs, 4 VCRs, 1 DVD player, a microwave, a dishwasher, at least 2 CD players (possibly 3—we’re still debating the one), 2 irons, 3 showerheads (just don’t ask), several cell phones, a vacuum cleaner, a steam cleaner…and that’s the short list. He’s a one-man demolition crew, hands-on learner. He’s got to touch, feel, examine, test, push, pull, smash, and hammer everything he sees. Telling him don’t touch means nothing to him. He will push the limits even though I’ve just gotten the words out of my mouth, even though it means sure retribution will follow. Explaining the reasons why he shouldn’t touch just doesn’t register. He still cannot resist the urge to handle everything, no matter what it might be. He doesn’t do it to annoy us. He doesn’t do it to be bad. He’s just insatiably curious. He can’t resist the call within him to explore his world.

As you might imagine, dealing with Logan alone requires a certain amount of restraint and grace. Every time he touches anything I want to snatch it from his hands for fear he’ll break it. And yet I still have to allow him learn how to do things. How do I allow him to learn the world around him in the way he was created to learn it, and yet still prevent him from bringing our house down around us? I find myself balancing constantly on a massive scale, on the extremes between wanting to scream my fool head off at him at times (as if that will do any good), and wanting laugh my head off at his silliness and genius. What scares me the most is his little brother, Brady, is a lot like him (and we had prayed he might be our calm child—no dice). Yet despite all the frustration they both have caused me, I am head over heals in love with those two boys. They are incredible. I can’t get enough of them.

How like Logan humanity must be for God. He screams warnings at us and we still don’t hear him. We press on with our own plans, headless of what the Heavenly Father wants us to do for our own good. And once we’ve had it our own way, and broken it all to pieces, God still comes in, puts our lives back together, loves us, and extends grace just a little farther.

I just love being a father. Thank goodness God loves being a heavenly Father to humanity.