I awake to the marine layer swallowing our windows and absorbing light. My mind is yet again tricked into the early dawn so I slumber; long past my alarm’s call to vacate my bed. When I do rise, it’s under the weight of two large growths…namely my three-year-old daughter and two-year-old son. They’ve joined the sprawl of pillows and blankets and stuffed animals sometime in the last hour.
I part from them and begin my seemingly normal routine of showering, brushing, dressing, and as usual fighting. The fighting is not as you have quickly assumed a matter of conflict between the one flesh, but rather an inner turmoil I’ve longed to shed – yet have fallen deeply in love with.
My thoughts drift to the words. The words of David, “The upright in heart will glory.” I’ve never thought of glory as a verb. Meandering. What would it be like to truly glory? How would it look and feel? Is this a result of something else…or a command?
Bang. The bathroom door erupts open and my daughter fumbles in seeking me out while I hide, hoping the shower will both hide me from her and free me from my own thoughts.
What was I thinking? Quick darting thoughts in all directions. New job. Hope. Need to clean. Missed my wife. Jesus talking to the disciples. What to have for breakfast. Should I shave? I need to run tonight. Worry. Joy. Can I do it? Is it up to me?
I slowly drag myself away. Clear my mind and focus. “Christ in me, Christ before me…”
On with my day. Thoughts still spinning around a need to control, succeed, produce, secure. Moving towards a peace of knowing that I am not God. I make the rounds. Kissing my wife, embracing the two little ones. A kiss for Pelé, my boy who thinks he is a soccer star. A hug for Belle, my girl who longs to be a princess.
I’m off. In the car now ready to go, solve, create.
“Wait daddy!” my daughter hollers.
I open the door and she wraps her small, but muscular three but almost four-year-old arms around my neck. Her little cinnamon toast mouth is millimeters from my ear when she whispers, “Don’t give up.”
Whirling in slow motion – the Spirit has spoken. A deep love falls over me. A love for the beauty and goodness of children. A love for living life; being human. A love for the Spirit given to us as the great comforter who speaks through children. A love for the battle, the struggle, the indifference and the deep love of knowing I am not God. A love for being attentive to what God is doing in even the smallest moment of our lives.
Proverbs 29:18 MSG
If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.