I am struggling to grow up.
This disheartening realization followed a conversation I had with one of my teenage daughters.
Daughter: Dad, you’re looking good today.
Daughter: That shirt. It’s like…the bomb.
Me: This plaid one I got at Costco for ten bucks? I thought you said it was as embarrassing as my farmer’s tan?
Daughter: I know. Maybe it’s just like…you know…that you lost some weight.
Me: Oh. Well, thank you. I guess?
Daughter: Hey Dad.
Daughter: Do you think I could have a sleepover with my friend tonight?
For those of us with children, and teenagers in particular, we’ve probably had numerous conversations just like this. Our children can be master manipulators and they can make us feel a bit…well, used. But then again, they’re kids.
Which got me thinking. Isn’t this the same way I am approaching my relationship with God the Father?
When I come to Him with poetic platitudes, isn’t there always a selfish motivation behind my compliments? Aren’t I always following up my praise with some type of personal request? Some favor or a desire to fix or improve my life or that of others I care about?
How long has it been since I just came to Him with genuine appreciation and gratitude and wanting nothing more than to be in His presence?
Wouldn’t it be great if the conversation between a child and a father was more like this?
Daughter: Hey Dad?
Daughter: What are you doing?
Me: Just reading.
Daughter: Do you have a moment?
Me: What do you need?
Daughter: Oh nothing. Just wanted to spend some time with you. You know…connect.
Me: You want to play a game?
Daughter: Well…we can. But how about if we just hang out? We can sit on the back porch. I’ll make a couple of lemonades. We can…just…you know…spend some time together. How does that sound?
Me: Well…that’s sounds amazing.
The mere power of this conversation brings me to my knees:
God, please forgive me for my ingratitude for your companionship. For the many times I’ve come to you for presents, rather than just wanting to be in your presence. Oh how I’ve cheapened our relationship! Oh, how I have dishonored your friendship! Please, forgive me.
What about you? Are you due for some much-needed porch time with God? Are you ready for some genuine lemonade moments?
A DISCLAIMER FROM THE PRODUCER: I took creative license when describing my conversation with my daughter. My three daughters are much sweeter to their Dad than he deserves!