Last weekend Jacob & I wanted to spend some quality time together. And for the first time, he is getting old enough to actually help me work! I had to get the leaves collected around our house, so I put a rake in his hands and I held the blower and went to work on the front and back yards.
Jacob worked on the spots up close to the house, and got his little pile together, and was so proud of it. He’s so smart. I mean it doesn’t require much intelligence to rake leaves, but many kids don’t figure out how to do things the right way, and actually care to work! I know I didn’t… but I went to look back at his work, and although he had missed some spots – he had done a great job getting most of the leaves out of the flower bed and all in one pile. I only gave him meager instruction, but he did a great job. He was so proud of his work. Leaning on his rake, he was standing there as if to say, “yeah… check that out, Daddy.”
So we got the leaves all together, and when all was said and done, there was a 4 – 5 foot pile of leaves about 15 feet in diameter. Big pile! So right when Jacob said, “daddy, how is this fun, Daddy?” I grabbed his 65 pound rock solid little body by the leg and an arm – and swung him into the big pile of leaves. He panicked for a second, then said, “hey Daddy, do that again!!!”
He had no idea that work could be fun. And lo and behold, working with Daddy proved to be a memorable experience. I can look back on my time with my Dad, and some of the most quality times I had with him were times working, playing, scouting, or just hanging at the house.
I was reminded of the Lord’s love for us. It is for our own good that he allows us to be challenged, to work, to feel the load of daily cares, and responsibility. It’s in the small things like REAL quality time that we spend with him that we grow truly close to Him. Time in prayer, time in the word, getting to know him as our relationship grows closer to him; and then out of nowhere he throws us in the leaves; and shows us the simple joys of life in him.
I’ve been continuing to read a book by Lee Camp called Mere Discipleship. More than anything, I’m beginning to understand that the Lord wants a real relationship with us, not some sort of proof-texting mastery of the Scripture; and a card-punching unblemished attendance record at church. What I never knew before – thanks to God for some graduate study in this – was that we are often guilty of Bibliolatry, and worship the Bible itself, rather than seeking a relationship and true quality time with the Lord.
How much more does he want us to be devoted and dedicated to him out of love rather than fear! Understanding what he has done for us, in redeeming us from our wicked separation from him, is paramount to any relationship we will develop with him. I pray that God will continue to bless me with quality times with my son, and the presence of mind to MAKE quality times with my children, and not just be task oriented and meaningless with our co-existence.