Of all the things I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad
President Obama, to his daughters on leaving office.
Boom. Thanks Obama! Got me thinking . . . what makes you proud? What makes ME proud?
I don’t know if it was intentional or not . . . but President Obama talks of things he has “done” but what makes him most proud is a “be”. He IS a dad. I’ve got some favourite dad moments with my daughters – “adventure walks” (happy wanderings down footpaths we haven’t walked before taking snaps as we go and marvelling at the beauty of creation together); “classical music listening” (as we drive back from Brownies as requested by my 9 year old); “dancing madly around the kitchen” (often it is One Republic or Years and Years . . . occasionally, I get away with Earth, Wind and Fire . . . sometimes it is worship music and sometimes, delightfully, there is no audible music – except what is playing in my kids imagination).
There are many more things. They are a joy. To be honest, I’m not “doing” anything . . I’m just being with my kids and loving the moment. You can’t “do” a moment. You have to enter in, be present, breathe and just wonder at the goodness of it. I can’t express it really – this “being a dad” thing. I think of my daughters and smile.
No achievement in life matches simply being in theirs.
I don’t know what makes you proud. Achievement is a weird thing. Some days we might be proud if we have ticked off 15 items on our “to do list”, other days it feels like an achievement to get out of bed. Context is everything. Whether you are pursued by the black dog or are walking on air, anxious about what tomorrow will bring or thrilled at the next unknowable opportunity – the “stuff” we take most pride in reveals something about who we are.
I wan’t to know that my life makes a difference. I want to SEE my life making a difference, I don’t want that to just be a platitude I tell myself. Being a dad is a flippin’ awesome responsibility – with an emphasis on the awe . . . I don’t know what I am doing half the time, but I don’t ever want to be not paying attention. Being a dad is pretty astonishing.
I can’t grasp that this feeling and joy I have as I think about my kids is a tiny, tiny glimpse at maybe how my Father God thinks and feels about me. About you.
There are some great, great words that speaks to me of the beaming, chuffed, delight that God has when he looks at me, at you :
Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are!
1 John 3 verse 1
But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.
John 1 verse 12
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Romans 8 verse 16
There is nothing I know that makes me as chuffed as being a dad.
There is nothing I know that compares with knowing I am a precious child of God.