I always heard dads talking about how being a father gave them new insights into being a child of God, and the same is happening to me; a lot. Be glad I don’t blog all of them. :) But I’ll save my latest lesson as a new dad for the end of this post.
One of Luke’s very favorite things has been bathtime – he would sit in a tub and splash until he became a prune if we let him. He never tires of water. So as we headed off to vacation two weeks ago I was sooooo looking forward to the pool in Palm Springs where we would be for the second week of our trip.
As soon as we checked in, we went for an evening swim. I wasn’t sure if the vast size of a giant pool would intimidate him, but far from it… he took to it like a fish!
Well, a fish being held by his father that is. The pool was giant and included a baby section with water only a foot and a half deep and a water slide where you could slide at speeds of up to 80iph. (inches per hour)
Luke was hooked! We went swimming several times a day from before breakfast to just before bedtime. (with breaks for meals and naps, of course) First thing in the morning, Luke would point toward the pool and grunt. I would stop every ten feet on the way and say, “Where do you want to go?” And he would point again, remembering every turn on the way to the pool, and later in the week, even choosing where he would like to swim.
We started out in the kiddie area of the pool, but much to Dad’s delight, he actually preferred the deep end, which was nice since it is easier to hold the baby standing in deep water than it is laying in less than two feet!
Luke never tired of splashing. I finally learned to wear shades so I wasn’t squinting the entire time. Of course, his smiles were delightful, but when he was in “splash mode” he actually got such an intent look on his face; he takes his splashing very seriously.
But all good things, it seems, must come to an end, as did our vacation is sunny warm California. Of course, we had one last trip out to the pool before we left for the airport.
This morning, back in Chicago, when I got him up he immediately pointed to the back yard, and when I took him out there and tried to explain that we don’t have a pool, he was not happy. :(
So I went to Wal-Mart to try and make up for it:
Here is the daddy lesson I learned on this trip, written on the plane ride home:
As I type this I’m on the plane flying home from vacation in Palm Springs where Sara and Luke and I enjoyed a very relaxing week doing, well, basically nothing, unless going to the pool many times a day counts. :) Luke took to the water like a fish! Already a huge fan of bath time we weren’t sure if the vast expanse of a swimming pool would intimidate him. Far from it. It didn’t matter to him whether we were in the foot and a half deep section, or in the deep end where Dad was up to his neck standing… as long as he was in dad’s arms, nothing else mattered. He just splashed away delighted to be in the pool with his dad.
It struck me how much we are like my little Luke-fish. There are deep and shallow areas of life – but as long as we stay close to the Father, He will hold us and we can splash about and enjoy life regardless of how deep the water beneath us may be. And of course, there were times Luke tried to push away from me, and wanted to be alone in the water, but I had to hold on, at times against his will – for his own good. When we get away from God we can find ourselves feeling like King David did in Psalm 69 – up to our neck and sinking – but fortunately, our Father never lets go, and even if we go under or swallow some water, He will always pull us back close and love on us, even as we sputter to recover from the water that at times can be overwhelming. Our Heavenly Father wants to see us splashing and enjoying life. We can’t always avoid the deep end in life, but if we cling to the Father he will hold our head above the water and his strong arms will never let go. So stay close to the Father, and lets see some splashes for Him! Just as we delight to see our children happy, God delights to see our joy in Him.
But don’t take your splashing too seriously! Despite all of our serious efforts, to our Heavenly Father, all we are doing is splashing in His pool. He’s more interested in just enjoying time with us, not any splash we think we can make. After all, if we really want to see a giant splash, look at Jesus, THAT GUY knows how to make waves! After all, He is the Living Water!
So cling to your Father, and soak in the Son!