Matthew 7:11-“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
I’ll be the first to admit that I am NOT the greatest Dad in the world, or the poster boy for husbands. I muddle along like most, doing what I can to keep from messing up my children’s lives TOO much.
Sometimes, though, I mess up and actually do something good for once. This past weekend, I think, was one of those times. I got to take my ten year old daughter on her first trip into Neyland Stadium.
Now, some of you don’t get what a big deal this is for me. If you don’t like football, or any sports, you may not understand. But this was an EXPERIENCE for her. She has never been inside a big time college stadium.
See, the Orange & White game was this past weekend. It was a chance for U.T. (that’s Tennessee, Randy, not Texas) fans to get autographs from their favorite players. It’s also a chance to watch the squad scrimmage and get a look at the players for the upcoming season.
My daughter REALLY wanted to go. I know some of the dads out there are tearing up, thinking about how she is going to make some guy a fine wife one day. She understands the importance of sports in a balanced diet!
Anyway, I work the games (when I can), as a Red Cross volunteer. We man the first aid stations, and render medical assistance to the fans in the stadium. We get to go to the games for free, get wonderful seats (if you have enough time to sit in them), and all the stadium hot dogs you can eat!
Well, I surprised Kaitlyn on Saturday. God gave me a wonderful idea, and then He made it happen for her and for me. She is going to be working with me, as a runner for the different command posts during the games. She gets to work with Dad, and I get to help her carve out some great memories.
The thing that really made this special, however, was Saturday. We got there before the field opened up for the general public, and had our Red Cross first aid station team picture taken. She also got to be in that. Then, I just sat back and watched my daughter take in the entire view.
It was amazing, just watching her face; seeing all the emotions playing across it. She was dazzled. It reminded me of the first time I was there, and the first time I took my wife there as well. She got to do so much that day, and I was proud to be a part of it.
That’s kind of how God is with us, isn’t it? He knows and sees everything, but I like to think that He gets a little giddy the first time we get really get a handle on how much he loves us. When we take our first spiritual steps, to maturing into a Christ-centered adult, He is there for it all.
He smiles, and takes pictures, and just generally feels really proud. I wonder if the angels get tired of hearing about how proud He is of all that we accomplished today. I marvel at how many times He picks me up after I have scraped my knee or had an accident; how He kisses it and makes it all better.
He watches over me, as if I am His very own child.
We forget that, sometimes, don’t we? Just like our kids don’t always know that we love them, even when we scold them, God loves me. He sometimes has to let me go through things when I am being bull headed, in order to let me know that He DOES have my best interests at heart. I may not know it at the time, but if I pay attention, I will see it and understand.
Just like with my daughter.
And if you walk with Him long enough, and follow and do what He asks you to do, I think he lets you see the WHOLE stadium. I think he walks you to the 50-yard line, and lets you stand on the Power T. Then, like I did my daughter, He lets you tell others where you are, and that you wish they could see the view you do.
And He stands back like a proud Father, and gets a tear in His eye, as He realizes that His child is growing up. And He is so very, very proud of you at that moment in your life.
Don’t forget your first view of the stadium.
Be blessed in the Lord today.
(See photos that go along with this story here: http://good-times.webshots.com/album/558477352CTEQJz)