A few years ago we did a family trip to Disneyland. This was kind of a big event for our kids. They were more than excited when we cleared the gates and headed into the park. They studied the map and quickly agreed to head straight for the Indiana Jones Jeep Adventure. They were pumped and ready to buckle into, the Big Ride.
Our excitement grew as we reached the front of the line. Then it happened. Abigail, our youngest daughter was asked to step against the Measuring Post, to confirm she met the height requirement for this big ride. A little tear formed in her eye and rolled down her cheek when the attendant reported she failed to meet the requirement. Abigail and I missed the Big Rides that year. We rode the Tea Cups and heard long renditions of “It’s a Small World.” It felt like a Small World.
There are requirements at Disneyland and in life for the biggest and best rides.
Micah, the Old Testament Prophet (chapter 6, verse 8) identifies three requirements for a full life. We are called to; Do Justice, To Love Mercy and To Walk Humbly with God. These requirements are necessary for a full life and for effective parenting. If we show up as fathers without these requirements, we are going to miss the best and spend way too much riding “Tea Cups” in a pretty small world.
Doing Justice means doing the right thing, because it is the right thing. We never need permission from anyone else to do the right thing. Your life is a seminar that your daughter is watching everyday. What is she learning about life, faith and love by watching you?
Mercy is a Divine quality and we are called as followers and fathers to love Mercy. When you give people what they need, rather than what they deserve, you are, loving mercy. Your daughter will have missteps and mistakes along the way. Find and release the Divine mercy that will give her fresh starts in broken places.
Walking Humbly with God is a requirement. Pride will jam us up as dads. Independence will leave us cut off from one another and our daughters. Walking with God gives us the boldness and the humility to love and lead our families and ourselves.
That family trip to Disneyland was not the end of the story for Abigail. She came up a little short that year, but she was not done. She came home, kept growing and was back in line for the Big Ride the next summer. It was worth the wait, the Big Rides always are. Keep going and keep growing, parenting is a great ride and none of us are done yet.
Grace and Peace
Dr. Don Worcester