I heard a message one time that compared Holiness to a long walk of obedience in the same direction. The implication was that there might be slight detours on the way or pauses in the journey or stops and starts or even back tracking, but that the journey to live like Jesus lived is a long journey.
I was reminded of this as I was telling a friend recently about a soccer game experience with my kids this last week. Both kids had games at different locations, about 60 miles apart, so I knew the ex would be at the youngest child’s game because she had to drive him. My oldest had told me in a text message earlier in the week that she wasn’t going to go to the game. I suspected (turns out rightly) that she was telling me this so I wouldn’t go and she’d planned all along to play — after all it was her last game of the season.
So I went to her game, thinking if she wasn’t there I’d just drive up to the son’s game and be a bit late. When I saw her vehicle, I got out my chair and made my way to the field to watch and met some of the other parents near me and got settled in. As the scoring started, I texted the ex to keep her update on the progress. My daughter got hit by another player in the head near the goal and I relayed that information (she was fine and popped right back up). Later at the end of the game, she tweaked her knee or something so I communicated that as well. There was a lot of scoring, so there were probably ten texts that I sent to the ex. Very short ones. I think it took almost to midway through the 2nd half to get a text response about the scoring in my son’s game. I asked how he was doing and didn’t get a response to that.
As I’m telling my friend this, she says to me, “Why are you doing this? You’re not going to get positive responses.” I said I had figured as much, but I thought it was the right thing to do. I would want to know how the other game was going, so I was sure she would as well. It’s the Golden Rule, right? Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
My friend was a bit incredulous. “But it’s like you know you’re going to get rejected and you do it anyway.” I hadn’t thought of it like that, but I just replied that this is who I am. I am who I am regardless of the negative reactions from the family. I’m not going to be a different man because of the negativity and anger coming from that side. As I have done all year, I texted my daughter after the game and congratulated her on a well-played, hard-fought game. About 2 hours later (true to normal form), I got a text back from her saying she doesn’t want me at her games or my texts. I did not respond. Again, I’m not doing that to get a good response from her today. I know that won’t happen. I’m going to her games and texting her because that’s who I am. It’s what I do. I’m not going to stop doing good things for her just because she is frustrated with it. At some point in her life, I hope and pray she can look back and see that in spite of the anger she showed to her Dad, her Dad loved her in word and action continually. I never stopped.
But even if that day doesn’t happen, I will still be the man that God has made me to be. I will still write her notes, go to her games, be there for her important days, love her as only a Daddy can.
It’s a long walk in the same direction.
- to obey is to believe (musingsinmontage.com)
- The Beauty of Obedience (jesusfr3ak.wordpress.com)
- A walk. A long walk. (pfbowsley.wordpress.com)