Years ago, when one of my girls was four years old, I was working on a project at our house, repairing the steps to our basement. And she was sitting next to me, watching.
It didn’t take long before she was asking questions. She started down the “why road.” Why this? Why that? Why left? Why right? Why? Why? Why?
You know the routine.
As a parent, when this happens, the whole goal is to just outlast them. Because soon enough they’ll be distracted by a bright, shiny ball and they’ll move on to something else.
But today she was asking a lot of questions. With one little curveball.
“Greg, why are you fixing the steps today?”
“Greg, why did you use that red hammer?”
“Greg, why did you use that screw instead of a nail?”
Now, I’ve got her number. I knew exactly what she was doing. And I wasn’t even going to engage. But, eventually when I wasn’t biting, she threw it out there:
“How come I call you Daddy?”
It’s a great question, isn’t it? Sometimes four-year-olds challenge us.
So I really thought about it and gave my best answer. I told her:
Sweetheart, there are only two people in the world who get to call me that—you and your sister. And as far as I’m concerned, you can call me that for the rest of my days. Now, if you get older and you don’t want to call me Daddy, you just want to call me Dad, that’s okay.
And whenever you call me Daddy or Dad, that means something. It means we have a special relationship that I have with only one other person in the whole world.
Fast forward to today. She’s a lot older now, but when that text message comes through that starts: “Daddy… I have a question” or “Dad, I need your advice,” well, the rest of the world can just wait. Because she’s got my attention.
Now, read this verse from 1 John:
Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children.
Did you hear it? We are the beloved children of the Heavenly Father. And unlike any earthly father, His love is perfect. So when we cry out Father, don’t you think we have His attention?
He tells us we do:
At that time, you will call out for Me, and I will hear. You will pray, and I will listen.
So, today, when something is weighing on you, bring it to your Heavenly Father. Prayer is simply a dialogue between you and the Father. There’s nothing fancy to it and you don’t need a formula. You don’t even need to start it like you’re writing a formal letter:
DEAREST FATHER ALMIGHTY.
No. Approach God like a child approaches a loving parent. Imperfectly and often.
And know that you have the attention of the God of the Universe who loves you so.
Profound, Greg. Great insight – thanks. (I’m the father of two grown girls now, too.)