One of the great benefits of having a Dad who worked for Buick in the 60’s is every year at announcement time he brought home scale models of the cool new vehicles coming out. Wildcats, Riveras, Skylark Convertibles a virtual little boy show room eventually. After a while my creative juices started flowing and I wondered if I could melt some of them into cool wreck scenes, (it’s a little boy thing you wouldn’t understand).
Out near our driveway was the tether ball court the perfect place to stage this would be fiery crash. My father had put down white gravel as to make a wonderful tether ball court for my brother and sisters to smack a ball around instead of each other, I think.
Ohio Blue Tip matches out to do the trick my young mind reasoned. I had a great deal of experience with these babies, because I had the coolest little Jensen steam engine that you had to light these little dry fuel tablets. After nearly half a box of matches I wasn’t getting the melting I was hoping for, answer, I need more fuel.
At this stage in the story as I am sure you can imagine things are about to go terribly wrong. If I stand back now and look Jesus has clearly shown me through out my life is this desire to go it alone, my hopes and dreams, (in this case a cool looking fiery crash scene) I considered my dad would not be up for, not interested, no time. Maybe that was true, but I never asked him to share the adventure the dream. The fathering you will see I clearly needed I wasn’t willing to risk the rejection or denial. Going to the Father with your hopes and dreams, (yes even the weird ones) takes courage, but oh, oh the joy of sharing the adventure with Jesus.
Back to the fiery crash scene, since mowing the lawn was one of my chores I knew just where the gas can was. A few drops of gas will do the trick. I decided to pour the gas straight out of the can onto the cars. What I had failed to consider is that the cars were still smoldering a smidgen from the severe matching they had received. The second the gas touched the cars whoosh flames jumped all the way up the spout of the gas can. The can started to rumble and before it could explode I kicked it over spilling five gallons of flaming gas across the, (at one time white gravel) tether ball court and down the driveway. With Flames shooting up way over my head I can still see that yellow tether ball expanding bigger, bigger, BAM!!
Just when it couldn’t have looked worse for the home team, here comes my parents driving up the street heading for their flaming driveway. Un-singed and sheepish there I stood as my father jumps out of the car at the bottom of the driveway, (he wasn’t know for handling these kind of things calmly, of course who would). “What in the *!&@^#!. Things just didn’t turn out the way I hoped, but no doubt there was a fiery crash scene.
I can’t remember all the punishment I received for this infraction of all the Dilmore codes known to man. But the one that has stuck with me was cleaning that white gravel and the driveway most of the summer.
Now the stuff of Dilmore legend it has provided much laughter over the years, but I can’t help but wonder, if I could have shared this adventure with my dad it had the possibilities of something even more wonderful.
I am partly sure that I escaped major punishment because like Joseph I was teased by my siblings that I was daddy’s favorite, (I was a junior and his first son so it’s understandable). Although, as a father myself I understand how all your children are in that status. I believe there is something inherently special to being daddy’s favorite, ‘the apple of his eye’. God Himself affirmed His son on more than one occasion, “You are my Son whom I love in you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:22 God is the perfect Father every child longs to know that. I would share that you may have never been you earthly father’s favorite but you are your Heavenly Father’s favorite.
Isaiah 61: (My Emphasis added)
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
This famous passage quoted by Jesus in Luke 4:18 as, fulfilled by His coming, profoundly illustrates the concept and use of New Testament grace to me. That word favor in the Hebrew ‘ratsown’ works well for my understanding as this is the year of “Robby is The Lord’s favorite”. The Greek word ‘charis’ usually translated ‘grace’ also means favor so even more proof this is the year I’m His favorite.
Sorry you get your own year…just kidding. Let that sink in “You are His favorite.” You are the apple of Father God’s eye I promise.
This understanding helps me both in seeing the grace I’m afforded but also when someone starts to get on my nerves if I want to show them grace, I create a mental picture of them being my favorite son or daughter and how would I treat them if that is the case. It is truly remarkable how that change makes me feel about that person, which in turn changes the way I treat them. I have even gone as far as telling them, “I am declaring this 2014 the year that ________ insert name is my favorite.”
AMAZING GRACE is what you need when great-tether-balls are afire, yes many times I figure out I have lots and lots broken moments. Yet, I AM STILL HIS FAVORITE, just sayin…