Treasure hunting comes pretty naturally for most men. Much of the world was discovered and settled because men were dreaming, searching or chasing after some pile of gold, City of Gold or rumor of gold in some far away place. So it was probably not a big surprise that I picked a stop on our family vacation that offered the chance to, “Pan for Gold.” The attendant was dressed as a Prospector and explained that for 10 bucks we would be given a 5-pound bag of sand, a Gold Pan and a lesson on Prospecting. He also assured us that each bag had Real Gold somewhere in the mix. I bought several bags, and we began Prospecting.
It turns out that a pile of dirt, with the Gold flakes in it, looks a lot like a pile of dirt.
It takes skill and patience and practice to separate the sand from the gold. A man without skill will lose the gold with the sand. A man without patience will quit before the gold is revealed. A man who doesn’t practice these skills will miss the treasure right in front of him. Good dads are good Prospectors. They know there is gold in their daughter’s hearts. They are committed to sifting through a whole bag of ordinary life to find the treasure hidden inside.
The questions we asked our daughters will help us sort out and separate the sand from the gold. We should always ask our daughters about their activities, their schedules, their plans and their behaviors.
“What did you do today? ”
“ How did Volleyball go?”
“ Do you want to go to the Skate Party on Saturday?”
If we want to connect with their hearts, we need to ask questions that help reveal their hearts. Andy Stanley in his book, Enemies of the Heart suggest some good questions to consider.
“ Is everything okay in your heart?”
“Did anybody hurt your feelings today?”
“Are you mad at anybody?”
“Did anybody break a promise to you today?”
“Is there anything you need to tell me?”
“ Is there anyone you would like to see fail?”
Let’s keep Prospecting with our daughters. Let’s not be satisfied with simple and easy exchanges. There is real gold in their hearts, let’s keep working until we find it.
Grace and Peace
Dr. Don Worcester