A few days ago, I was working hard to finish up a few things around the yard before we left for vacation. I had made an initial attempt at a garden about three weeks ago and now things were looking a bit garbled. The garden will be fine, but it needed some weeds pulled and some vegetables replanted.
I asked the boys to help and they were all in. They started finding garden tools and the hose and reported for duty. One of them was assigned to spraying weeds in the mulch beds. Another was assigned to run errands and the other was assigned to pull weeds with me.
After a few minutes they decided they wanted to change up their roles…so we did our first rotation. Then after a few more minutes, one of them thought it would be fun to take a break and ride their bikes. And then a few minutes later the neighbor kids walked down the alley and wanted to play four square.
I was about ready to reel them back in and make them get back to pulling weeds when I had a flashback…a long time ago…when I was their age.
I would do anything possible to get out of working in the garden.
I’m sure I didn’t mean any harm by it…however, when I was a kid growing up in MN, the garden was a waste of time. All the work was done on the front end….planting, weeding, watering, etc. and it took months before we ever got any vegetables, and furthermore, I didn’t even like most vegetables at the time.
So, I made a compromise…I let them go play. I must say, listening to the kids play four-square was so healthy for me. They wrangled for that fourth square, laughed and played for at least thirty minutes while I enjoyed my time pulling weeds, replanting and tidying up the garden. Before it was dark, I asked them to help me clean everything up, which they did and we called it a night.
As I reflect on the events from a few evenings ago, I think my favorite word in the English Language is “Dad.” I absolutely love the opportunity to love and guide each of our kids. And I am incredibly privileged to have my own dad who invested into me. I don’t think a day has gone by when I have not been grateful for the many lessons my dad taught me.
This Sunday we will take some time to celebrate and challenge fathers. Pastor Dave will bring a sermon entitled, “Tender Warrior, Loving Shepherd.”
Although many do not share the distinct privilege of a loving father, we can each draw hope from the truth that our Heavenly Father is worth celebrating.