Sundays are wonderful days for our family and also very hard days for our family. The morning starts just as early as every other day, it just involves a little more work for my wife, as I leave the house at 7:30 a.m. for church. Sometimes the kids cooperate and things go real well. Then there are times when the kids are crabby, tired, hungry, hyper or any combination of those. That takes the stress level to a whole new level. As you can imagine, when I get home on a Sunday all I really want to do is drink some coffee, watch baseball, read a book. Reality tells me that I have 4 children and they would rather run around with pointy objects.
This Sunday was not all the much different except that my oldest son has been after me to take him fishing. I have been recovering from an illness over the last week and have not been able to do that. By the time he got up this morning he was pretty much convinced that we were going. He had it all planned out. He knew the place, where we needed to go to get bait and what he wanted to use. He had dreams of fish he was going to catch and he went to church and told everyone he met that his daddy was taking him fishing. He even invited someone to go along with us.
As a side note, I love that he is into fishing. When he was born I couldn’t wait for the day when he would want to fish with me. The day has arrived and he is into it, ready or not.
I walked in the door after church and there he was. “After you eat lunch, are you ready to go?” I told him to let me think about what was going to happen. He left and came back 5 minutes later and stood there looking at me. “You know what I am going to ask you, dad.” At that point I was a little irritated that he wouldn’t even let me eat my lunch, so I told him to go play so I could figure it out. He let me finish and came back and said, “are you ready dad?”
I must admit I was not too excited about going fishing. It was 85 degrees and there are mobs of tourists around. Usually when I fish on Sunday afternoons I am interrupted by someone on vacation who thinks the spot we are fishing is a great place to play fetch with their dog. But, how could I say no to him?
Fishing didn’t prove to be successful. We got a few bites and caught only one. But, I realized something even more profound as we fished. I looked at my son and realized that he was soaking in everything that I was doing. He was trying to imitate the way I cast and wanted so badly to hook a fish. He watches me do it and then tries himself. He is working on it and continues to improve in his technique. I also realized that what had started as a little bit of “me” not wanting to go because I was tired had turned into something else. I had relented and by doing so had turned it into something that was about him, or “you” – someone other than myself. But, as I fished with him I realized that it was about “us.” I held his pole and had him grab on to teach him how to cast with greater distance. I showed him where to position his bobber and then watched as he did it correctly. We were doing something together and it was building relational bridges I could never have planned.
This did not happen until I stepped outside of my own little world of comfort and looked at the day through the eyes of someone else. In this case the very thing I was not too thrilled about became the highlight of my day. We even ended the day with a small camp fire and smores.
What a difference it makes when we step away and let someone else decide what we do! There might be a blessing in the plans of someone else. There might be a relationship that is deepened to a level that it never could have at some other event.
You know the biggest lesson in this is that Jesus Christ does this for us. In the time of His ministry when He felt the greatest pressure to back out he relented to the will of God. The easiest and most convenient thing might have been the most appealing, but the hardest thing was what was needed. Jesus looked at His own circumstances and saw “you” and now we are able to approach God as a part of his family.
It is no longer Him and us, it is only “us” because we have been reconciled to Him.