Loving fathers make time for their childrenThe other day Cole asked me, “Daddy, will you play with me?”
I have to admit, I hesitated. I didn’t want to put Cole off, but I was so busy. I had too many things to do, and not enough time in which to do them.
I made a suggestion to him: “Why don’t you draw me a picture?”
His face brightened at the prospect of showing off his artistic skills for me, and while it made me feel good to see him so happy to do something for me, deep down I knew that I’d done the wrong thing.
I asked myself, “What’s more important, the things on my to-do list, or my son?” Phrased in that manner, the answer was a no-brainer.
The things I have to do can wait. They can be done when Cole’s not asking for my attention, or after he goes to bed.
The cold, hard truth is that Cole won’t always want me to play with him. There will come a time when he “outgrows” me.
There will come a time when he’ll be embarrassed to be seen with me and will beg me, “Please don’t tell people you’re my dad!”
I decided I’d better take advantage of his desire to spend time with me now, while I still can. So I set my to-do list aside, got down on the floor and helped him with his picture (because it really was a good one). After that, we went outside and played.
Did you know I’ve never been put off by my heavenly father? I’m sure there are times when he’s too busy making sure the universe runs smoothly to hear about my petty concerns. Yet when I come to him in prayer, he always listens to what I have to say (Psalm 6:9). He never suggests I do something else, instead.
Whenever any of God’s children prays, he listens.
He listens to your prayer of deep concern. He listens to your prayer of suffering. He listens to your prayer for mercy. And yes, he even listens to your prayer for a parking spot close to the door. No prayer is too big — or too small — for him to listen to.
Whenever we ask God to spend time with us in prayer, he does. I guess it’s easy for him, though. After all, he’s omnipresent.
Still, I should take time — no, I should MAKE time — for my children. I may not be omnipresent, but one of their greatest needs from me is to simply BE present.
Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.