This weekend I had an unexpected moment of pride. Gathering in a cabin, my daughter was playing with her cousin. They had balloons and were trying their best to keep them up in the air in the same way that kids have done for generations. I was watching them play on the couch and eavesdropping on their conversation and enjoying the sound of their laughter.
At one point in between giggles, I heard her tell her cousin how she plays this game with her daddy and then she said “My daddy is the best at keeping the balloon up. He’s really good.” After saying that she took off to the next thing, but the moment lingered in my mind.
There are moments in parenting that I always thought I would appreciate. The best moments are the ones that come out of nowhere. I tell you this not because I am especially proud of my “keeping a balloon up in the air” mad skills. I am also not one that thrives on compliments and feel the need to tell others when I receive one.
What I can tell you is that I felt an immense amount of joy when I heard my daughter talk about her daddy. It wasn’t her talking about the valuable life lessons and it wasn’t a skill set that will keep her going in life. What I loved was that in her mind while she was having fun, she took a moment to brag on her daddy. And as so often happens, God took that moment to teach me something.
Somewhere along the way we fell into the trap that God was out to get us, that judgment was the goal, that if we did not get our life together then we were a complete disappointment to our Heavenly Father. As a result we put on a show, we do things that we think we are supposed to do, and we strive for a standard that we undoubtedly actually placed on ourselves.
What I suspect pleases God most is not the things we do because we think we are supposed to, but rather the moments in our day where we are caught up in the moment, where we experience life with joy, and perhaps without even realizing it we take a moment to acknowledge Him and brag just a little on how good He is.
Hearing her share that sentence to a friend while completely unaware of my presence was better than any card or picture she could give to me. I suspect God is smiling on us when unintentional praise comes from our lips because we perhaps have started to grasp His love for us. I also think and hope that our best evangelism will come when we don’t even realize that we are doing it.
Our daddy is the best.