Rite of passage: Running to the Father

Our oldest yada hoodie, Titus the Honorable, is on a sophomore football team. I think it is on page 327 of the “Grandparents Handbook” that grandparents are required to attend “any sport, any school function, any religious activity or social gathering, where said grandchild participates. “.

I didn’t know it, but recently our grandsons informed us that the same manual also asked us to take them out for an ice cream or treat of their choice after said activities. It comes from a child who can barely read. I am not a big fan of football, but I am a big fan of the grandsons who play football. Not only do my wife and I attend games, but we also attend practice.

We were the first to arrive at football training. As we strategically placed our chairs, the rest of our family arrived. Two-year-old Peacekeeper River walked beside his father. They were far enough away that I couldn’t see them clearly, but I recognized them by their outlines.

As they got closer, little River looked up and saw me. He left his father and started running towards me as fast as his tiny legs could carry him. If his legs were shorter, they wouldn’t reach the ground. His laser eyes focused on me; his smile was from ear to ear. I’ve seen movies, where scenes like this are played in slow motion; but when a two year old is running towards you, the idle is about as fast as it gets.

I shouted his name “River! And her smile widened.

“Poppy!” He shouted. As he approached the jump distance, River jumped as high as he could, knowing I was going to catch up with him. I hugged him and he put his little head on my shoulder, wrapping his arms around my neck and hugging me like it was our last. He pulled his head back and looked me straight in the eye and said in a soft voice. “Poppy.”

And I said, “River.”

At that point, I am at peace with the world. Every worry vanishes; every invisible problem. No one else is more important than this little boy in my arms. And the joy that explodes in me ripples in my heart. Grammy gives River a snack. Then we just watch the world go by.

I searched the dictionary for words that would accurately describe the relationship between this young boy and myself. I flipped from page to page, looking for it, but I couldn’t find any. I came empty.

I can’t help but think that there is a similar correlation between me and my Heavenly Father. It seems that many days it is so far away. But if I stop what I’m doing and look up, I’ll find his presence. I hear him cry out my name, which is a personal invitation to run to Him as fast as I can.

As I approach, I leap by faith into his arms, and he pulls me firmly towards him. I squeeze Him as hard as humanly possible, and He squeeze me as hard as heavenly as possible. I step back and look deep into his eyes and I whisper “Father” and he whispers back, “Walker, my son. At that time, I passed from that earthly plain to the heavens. And I am safe.

We have seen videos of a long-deployed military father surprising his child at school. Father and child run towards each other, and neither is disturbed by anything else. They don’t care what the teacher or their friends think. They openly cried as tears of joy rolled down their faces. The children were overwhelmed by the presence of their father. If you are not moved by these scenes, you may not know the Father.

My good friend David Guion told me the other day, “Worship is not generated from a platform but from the heart. It is that moment of the heart, when we see his face, hear his voice, and spontaneously explode to be near him.

Sometimes it happens to me when I look out the window and see a sunset. At that moment, I sit down in silence, and I am transported. Other times my whole body is upright with arms raised, and I raise my voice as loud as I can. Either way, it’s worship.

Yes, the word is worship.


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