My son scored a touchdown in his flag football game this weekend. He’s 7. When Ben took the hand-off, he started left and then darted right just as the opposing team took the bait. As he turned the corner towards the end zone 40-yards away, I literally prayed that the kid closing in from behind would break his ankle: “Dear God, please break that little SOB’s ankle,” I prayed earnestly. God did not answer my plea, but He did allow my little boy to score his first-ever touchdown playing organized football.
“Whoa! Now I know what Archie Manning must feel like!” I screamed to the guy next to me.
“Yes. I’m sure it’s the same,” Nathan’s father replied monotonically.
“I know! Right!?” I yelled, grabbing Nathan’s dad by the shoulders and shaking him like drowning victim.
Ben ran 4o-something yards straight into the end zone and turned around wearing the most beautiful, happy smile I think I have ever seen. It was incredible… To see my son so full of joy and accomplishment was the greatest feeling I can recall.
His joy became my joy. In fact, it’s still my joy. My heart leaps when I think about that smile. Tears well-up when I replay the way he looked to me.. FOR me… for approval and to make sure I saw the great thing he’d just done.
I don’t want to get all Christian-blogger on you here, but don’t you think that’s how God feels about us? HIS children?
Now, it would be really cheesy and perhaps theologically unsound for me to say something like: “God is just like a cheering Father giving us a winsome hurrah while smiting our enemies from the sidelines of the game of life,” so I’m not gonna do that.
What I will do, however, is draw this supernatural connection and then rest, assured… knowing that my Heavenly Father is as proud and happy and joy-filled for me every day as this earthly father was on Saturday morning when the Upward Christian Cardinals beat the living crap out of the Upward Christian Bears.