May 25, 2019

“Daddy! Look at Me!”

My son recently attended baseball camp. For several days he learned how to be a better baseball player. Early in the week he invited me to watch him play on the last day. I, of course, agreed to attend. When I agreed he immediately asked, “Daddy, what time will you be there?”

When the big day arrived I got there and began looking for him. It took several minutes for me to find him in the frothy sea of squirmy boys’ heads and baseball caps; but when I did I quickly noticed that he was looking for me as well. I hadn’t really thought about it, but it was interesting to see how he “perked up” when he saw me. The first thing he did was frenetically wave and jump up and down a couple times, as if he was saying “Hey, daddy! Here I am! Do you see me?”

Unbeknownst to him, I had been watching him for several minutes already. But when he saw me seeing him his behavior changed in dramatic ways. All of a sudden he stood straighter, walked taller, ran faster, tried harder, and generally was more aware of who he was, what he was doing, and his surroundings.

I noticed that he also took the opportunity to actively seek out his friends and “introduce” them to me; this generally consisted of him putting his arm around them, turning them to face me, pointing toward me, and waving. I didn’t know what else to do, so I smiled and waved back. This was generally met with his friends staring blankly at me, saying something to my son, then running off. That interaction over, my son would search out yet another friend and . . . well, you get the picture. A good time was had by all.

This got me to thinking about how I perceive God, my relationship to Him, and my life.

Being invited to spend time interacting with my son and watching him practice and play, I realized that as a Christian I need to daily invite God, my heavenly Father, to visit me and be with me. God tells me in His Word that He wants me to include Him in my day—all day, every day. Notice Ellen White’s words as she wrote of Adam and Eve, humanity’s first parents, and their relationship with God in the Garden of Eden: “The holy pair were not only children under the fatherly care of God but students receiving instruction from the all-wise Creator. They were visited by angels, and were granted communion with their Maker, with no obscuring veil between.”

Moses recounts his experiences of daily communing with God in Exodus 33. I find it telling that he describes this interaction with these words: “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (verse 11).

I also came to recognize that as I initially watched my son without his knowledge, God is always watching me, whether I notice it or not. Solomon, the wise-then foolish-then wise king came to the same conclusion in the last sentence of the last chapter of Ecclesiastes, his diary of diaries; when he wrote “For God will bring every deed into judgment,including every hidden thing,whether it is good or evil” (12:14; see also Psalm 139:1-18). The writer of Proverbs put it like this: “For your ways are in full view of the Lord,and he examines all your paths” (5:21). Bottom line: if I am aware that God is always watching me, how should that inform how I live?

As my son so eagerly did, I was challenged to actively introduce my heavenly Father to all those with whom I come into contact. Jesus, right before He went up to heaven, gave His disciples—yes, you and me included—this mandate: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). Jesus doesn’t leave us any wiggle-room. Are we excited about doing it, or is it an afterthought, a bother, or a burden?

That day my son’s response to me as his father significantly enhanced my outlook about how I live my life in view of my own heavenly Father. Since then I have become acutely aware of daily inviting Him into my life, actively aware of His knowledge of and care over me, and purposely and passionately committed to share Him to all with whom I come into contact.

Know Jesus. Love Jesus. Live Jesus.

Omar Miranda, a counselor and writer, lives with his family in unplain Plainville, Georgia.