So like much of the world my family and I celebrated Christmas last month with the usual exchange of gifts and ridiculous amounts of food. My wife and kids and I celebrated a little more low key because of the arrival of our newest daughter on December 9th... but really it was a lot of the same celebrations; we just stayed at our place and didn't get out of our pajamas.
A few weeks prior to Christmas I was at my parents' house helping my dad hook up some new audio equipment to his entertainment system. When it came to power everything up we didn't have the cable we needed to connect to his giant TV. He said it was no big deal and that he'd get one later.
Well, my dad is like many other dads... It is IMPOSSIBLE to buy gifts for him because HE HAS EVERYTHING. Dads are just that way.
So there I was with an albeit small, but rare opportunity to bless my dad and buy a $15 cable that he needed. And it happened to be Christmas -- Perfect!
When I was growing up, my dad really did seem to have everything. Specifically, he had every tool there was (or at least that I thought could exist or be useful). No matter the problem around the house, he had the tools to fix it.
After I got married, things would need fixing on our cars or around our old, little 1 bedroom apartment off of Ventura Blvd. And of course, I didn't really have the money to buy massive sets of tools and it didn't matter. I just called my dad.
When I would ask him to borrow a tool I needed, not only was he happy to let me borrow said tool, but he would bring it over himself. And not only would he bring it over, but he would help me fix whatever was broken.
And not only that, he would usually leave the tool with me, saying, "Just keep that one. I have another one at home." (probably two or three of them)
After a while, Dad and I would hangout to watch football and he would hand me a new tape measure. Or after my wife and I had kids and moved into a house -- with lawns, he just showed up with a lawnmower and weed wacker, saying, "Here ya go." I offered payment and he would of course withhold the amount he paid for the items so I couldn't.
My dad has given me nearly every tool I own -- to care for my home, to fix things that are broken, to assemble the beds my kids sleep on (He actually bought us the mattresses and baby's crib, too). I'm a full-time pastor and I play guitar nearly every week to lead our congregation in worship.
Do you know who gave me that guitar (that sweet, sweet, beautiful Martin D-28) when I was 18 as a graduation present? Yep. Dad. He literally gave me the primary tool I use to make a living, to provide for my family, and most importantly, to serve God with the abilities He's given me.
Dad took (and still takes) every opportunity he gets to bless me with a new tool and help me fix something, assemble something, or hang decor around our home. I'm starting to get the impression he just wants to hang out with me... and ya know what? I want to hangout with him. Just being together is great.
In John 17, Jesus prays to His Father as He prepares to go to the cross and He asks for everything for his disciples. He just lays it down: "give them this," "do this so I can be with them," "fill them with love," and on and on He goes. In the previous chapter, Jesus tells his disciples about his imminent departure and directs them to do one thing:
"At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name." - John 16:23-24
So there I was foolishly thinking I could offer my dad a small token of a gift for his TV.
I went to Target, bought the needed cable, and waited to see my dad a few days later when we had planned to hang out. But doubt crept in my mind... and rightfully so.
When we arrived at mom and dad's house, I asked him, "Dad, did you ever get that cable you needed?"
Of course he responded, "Yeah, it's all hooked up."
My dad has everything. What's more, he wants to give it all away -- to me (and maybe my brothers, but I like to think I'm his favorite) 😃
I know he's not some cosmic genie, but my Heavenly Father really does have everything and He's given me so much. The best part: He's given me the ability and the access to ask Him for anything. Like my dad, He probably cares less about the stuff I ask for and just loves that I ask HIM, that we get to talk and just hang out together.
It's playoff time in the NFL, so I'll be at my dad's house again this weekend to watch football. And I have a feeling I won't leave his house empty handed -- because I never do.