Figuring Me Out

Posted: May 15, 2007 in Family Life, Thinking Theologically

You would think after 30 years you would have a pretty good handle on what makes you tick, how you’re wired and know all the good (because how could I possibly have any bad in me?!!) As I’ve grown older – the wiser could be debated – I’ve had to take on new roles… father, husband, pastor, etc. Of the many hats I have to wear, I think being a father is the most revealing of my heart.

Over the weekend Brock and I shot some hoops, played a round of “Horse”, played checkers and a few other things. And what I can’t figure out is why I can’t turn off the competitive spirit in me (that I’ve had since birth I’m sure) even when playing an 8-year old. Is it a guy thing? And, by the way, Brock has it too. You know what kills me? Having to do the “dad thing” and let your kid win every now and then so they don’t feel like a total loser. Really I guess you should have joy in seeing your kid be a winner… and I do… just when it isn’t against me.

Even checkers – go figure. And Brock beat me fair and square this time. Have I turned into Will Ferrell in “Kicking and Screaming”? Or is God just revealing the sinful nature of depravity that turns even healthy, fun competition into prideful ugliness.

I’m competitive… at least that is my excuse. But I’m really just amazed at how God uses things like losing in checkers to an 8-year old to reveal the ugliness of my heart and to show me how far from His likeness I really am.

Another experience this weekend had me questioning my ‘dadness’ and revealed more of my heart. I think as a parent you are always walking the fine line of being overbearing, controlling and dominant versus being a pushover and just trying to be your kid’s best friend. I would characterize that line (the balancing point) as tough love from a heart of gracious compassion.

Let me just say I have no idea how God is so patient with us and always gets it right. What an amazing Father who never falls on the wrong side of the line like I do. I’ll let you guess what side of the line I fell on. There are many moments of pondering, “Did I do the right thing?” in my life as a parent. I had one of many this past weekend.

Have I figured me out? Nope. And sometimes the more I do figure out – the less I like what I see. But amazingly, that awesome and perfect Father is more than just a role model. He’s the one who has me figured out, hasn’t given up on me and is shaping me into His likeness. Some just take longer than others. Did I mention I need to work on patience, too?!

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