A little over one year ago, I became blessed and immersed into fatherhood. From what I have been told, it is always this way – overwhelmed by joy and terror, hope and responsibility. The thought of all I must teach and instill in my daughter regularly traipses across my mind. Yet, in the midst of my often weighty musings on this subject, I have come to notice that she is quite a teacher herself. So, while reflecting on her first birthday, a couple of her favorite lessons stand out. Thank your for indulging a proud father for a few moments.
- God’s small gifts are a big deal – My daughter, Temperance, has big blue eyes that are almost always filled with wonder. Whether watching her first snowfall, sitting in the grass, petting the cat or eating kiwi, her appreciation of God’s good gifts is more than obvious. There are no “small things” in her view of the world. She takes communion with a loud “mmm” and greets her mother and me with a bright smile when she awakes from sleep. Temperance’s wisdom (yes, wisdom) reflects that of Solomon who wrote, “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works” (Ecclesiastes 9:7).
- Laugh often – Few things bring a smile to the face as quickly as the laugh of a child. Temperance has an infectious laugh and she shares it with abandon. She has reminded me that life is either to be enjoyed or it is not. God is sovereign and good and, because of these realities, we are ultimately without excuse for our all-too-persistent “mopey-ness,” regardless of the difficulties of life. Does Temperance know that? I do not know, but that is my point. She has never had to know all of the answers in order to respond to life with joy and laughter.