She stands in middle of the field nervously awaiting the ball to come to her end of the field. I stand on the sideline much too anxious to even sit down. She looks over and gives me a reassuring smile.
It sounds crazy but I know why parents lose their composure at little league games. I could never understand this until I stood on the sideline and watch one of my own children take the field. It is one thing to be a sports fan and watch the games on television. The experience is heightened by being at the actual event. There is a dramatic increase to be a player as opposed to a spectator. I think it is another dramatic leap from player to parent of a player.
I would never yell at the refs or coaches. That behavior is inexcusable and teaches children a horrible lesson. I can however see where the passion comes from. My heart pounds and my pulse quickens when the whistle blows to start the game and it takes more than just a walk to the car for me to settle down after the game is over.
What am I so wrapped up in? I want my child to know the reward of seeing the success of all the hard work and practice she has put into playing her game. I want her to feel the joy of competing. I want her to win and lose gracefully. I want her to have fun and enjoy herself. I also want her to see how completely proud that her father is of her.
I have seen the video footage of the fathers and mothers of our service men and women. I can only imagine how they must feel as their child leaves for battle. The pride and fear that must fill their hearts and minds is probably beyond expression. To be a hero is more than commendable. To raise a hero is an incredible achievement that every parent strives for.
Our heavenly Father must experience these emotions. I do not doubt that he is passionate about our lives. His heart must race when we step on the floor in the morning. He watches as we proceed through our day. He cheers us when we succeed and he stands ready to pick us up when we fail.
I know this because he cared enough about us to die for us. He gave himself so that we might live. He took the punishment of our sins upon himself. No greater love is there than to give up your life for someone else and that is exactly what he did.
He did not just purchase us with His blood, he paid for our adoption into his family with his very life. He gave himself so that we might be called by his name. For those who choose to accept His gift, he welcomes into His arms and wants them to call Him "Father".
I like to think that I am a good dad. I try to love and nurture my children the best I possibly can. Yet the passion that my children inspire in me is only a faint glimmer of what God's heart hold for those He calls His children. He is for us. He wants us to succeed and achieve the dreams that He has placed in our hearts.