Having recently celebrated Father’s Day, I find that parenthood itself is always a good metaphor for helping us to understand some of what God experiences with us. (And) As I was seeking for something to reflect on for this message to today I came across an article written by Anne Landers that is somewhat suspiciously disguised in the relationship of our own spiritual journey. It is a collection of personal thoughts as a child grows through life. I changed a few of the words to reflect a more contemporary voice. It goes something like this:
When I was
– 4 years old – My dad can do anything.
– 5 years old – My dad knows a whole lot.
– 6 years old – My dad is smarter than your dad.
– 8 years old – My dad doesn’t know exactly everything.
-10 years old – In the olden days when my dad grew up, things sure were different.
-12 years old – Oh, well, naturally, dad doesn’t know anything about that. He is too old to remember.
-14 years old – OMG Don’t pay any attention to my dad. He is so old-fashioned.
-21 years old – Him? Oh God, he’s hopelessly out of date.
-25 years old – Dad knows a little bit about it, but then he should because he has been around so long.
-30 years old – Maybe we should ask dad what he thinks. After all, he’s had a lot of experience.
-35 years old – I’m not doing a single thing until I talk to dad.
-40 years old – I wonder how dad would have handled it. It seems the older I get the wiser my dad becomes.
-50 years old: – My dad can do anything.
What happened in the years between birth and mature adulthood? Is it not enduring love now mixed with heartfelt understanding? In the same way that we endure the process of our children’s maturity, God endures our process of spiritual maturity. Regardless of how old we are when we come in to an understanding of this relationship with our heavenly Father we enter in as infants, new born babes; as Paul puts it, new creations in awe of God’s overwhelming love for us, an adoption of which we’ve never before experienced. The good news is that God is patient with us in that growth even when we aren’t.