Like every other teenager who covets the age of 16, I could not wait to get my driver's license. Distracted by all the excitement, and lack of reading the driver's guide, I made a left turn on the driver's course instead of what should have been a right turn. In the proces of turning, I rode over the curb. If on an actual road, I would have certainly faced immediate death in a head-on collision. The car was parked until another day.
A decade later, I was in the delivery room of my first child. I had no idea what to expect inside a room that was called "Labor and Delivery." Now I understand. The woman labors and the doctor delivers. All the while the father does no labor and the best he can do is have pizza delivered for the eager family waiting outside. It is an awkward place for the father inside "Labor and Delivery." He wants to be significant. So, he rubs his beautiful wife's forehead praying that her face doesn't stay in that discomfited position forever. He tells her to breathe when in reality he is saying it for his on benefit. Finally, the baby arrives and delivered to the joyful parents.
Now I was thinking a nap would be good after all that excitement. A good night's rest and I will be able to take on fatherhood. But within hours, they take the baby back, check for vitals, clean him up, and bring him back with a blue cap on his odd-looking head. I couldn't even bribe the nurse with a free fried chicken dinner at Folks. I pulled the nurse to the side and asked her: "Um, are you going to show us what to do with this creature? We need to know stuff, like, what do we do when he cries or gets hungry? Is there like a direction manual for diaper assembly?"
God bless nurses!
It was more difficult for me to get a driver's license than it was for me to become a father. When I failed my driver's license exam, I could retake the test. There is no failing at fatherhood. I get one opportunity.
One evening, holding in my arms this delicate human being, it occurred to me that this child is not my child. He belongs to God. He may have been brought into existence through the love of two people, but he was formed by God. God has entrusted this life into my care. If I'm going to be a capable father I better spend time talking to my heavenly Father. So I pray.
I pray for this one who sneaks popsicles before supper, who can never find their shoes, who shoves dirty clothes under the bed, whose tears sometimes make us laugh, and whose laughs sometimes make us cry.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!