Dear God, I just watched a video (link above) from a Catholic Advent series that a friend encouraged me to use this Advent season. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been as focused on Advent as it has spiritual growth and discipleship. I’ve liked that better.
Today’s video was about the names we have for you when we pray to you. Like the speaker, I usually refer to you as Father. The speaker talked about parallels between your attitude towards us and our attitude towards our own children. Of course, this made me think about a lot of things from the past and present.
I remember after my son was born and his first few years. I was struck by how easy it was to discipline him when he did something wrong or made a bad decision and then move on and forgive him. I probably even journaled to you at the time that it gave me a new perspective on how you see me. I wasn’t nearly the unforgivable wretch that I sometimes felt I was. Through the power of Jesus’ sacrifice (Hebrews 10:14), I am easily forgiven by a perfectly holy God. You are eager for my repentance and eager to move me forward.
This video also made me think of some of the best men’s retreats I’ve ever attended. There were a series of them out at Laity Lodge where they had men get up and tell their story from the perspective of You as our Father, our earthly father, and us as a father. Those were some great experiences as we started to get a glimpse of how we might actually be made in your image after all.
Father, help me to know how to embrace all that you are as my father, and help me to be the father you know my children need me to be. Give me exactly what I need to continue to draw closer to the center of your presence, and give my children exactly what you need them to have from me. Don’t let me get in the way of your plans for them with my own impetuousness, insecurity, or foolishness.
In Jesus’ name I pray,