Daily Reflection
July 6th, 2000
Eden Foord
Campus Ministry
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Amos 7:10-17
Psalms 19:8-11
Matthew 9:1-8
You’re a Mean Daddy

My daughter, Madeline, recently told me, “Daddy you are mean, I don’t like you!”  I believe I denied her from having another piece of candy or was it that I insisted on naptime or perhaps it was time to leave the playground.  Actually, I hear that phrase from Madeline when I alter her plans from what she wants.  My 2 ½ year old sweetheart is in the midst of learning limits and testing them.  She is confident that she knows what is best for her life, and my parental perspective comes in conflict with her desires.  “Yes, Daddy may seem mean, but I love you and want what is best for you, Madeline” is one of my responses to her frustrated fits.

Today’s readings remind me of parenting Madeline.  God seems to be very harsh in the first reading.  Like a parent, God seems to be disciplining Israel.  The people of Israel have strayed away from God.  Not unlike a child, they appear to know what is best for their own lives.  I wonder if we are all a bit like that?  I know that I catch myself saying, “God you are mean, why are you allowing this negative event to happen to me?”  During these times of frustrated fits, I realize that I have strayed away from God and pursuing my own desires.

What seems to work is listening to and acting on God’s words.  That means releasing control and trusting that there is a higher power who loves us and is looking out for our best interests.  Like Madeline waking-up from her nap with renewed energy and life for the day, we too find renewed life following and acting upon the words of God.  With God, we no longer are paralyzed from self-concern, but find the strength to pick-up our lives and walk in God’s love.

Madeline continues to increase my understanding of God’s movement in life.  She has shown me that God, who is often labeled as the “Mean Daddy” in this world, is misrepresented.  Instead, we have a Parent who loves us without end, who is involved in our lives, and who wants to guide us to what is best.  Maybe it is time for us to release control, lay down and take a nap with God.

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