Monday, June 17, 2013

My "Dad Moment" (Guest Post by Bradlee)

Father’s Day came and went. I love Father’s Day. Not so much because of the Whole Hog Cafe and Bass Pro gift cards I get (although both are awesome gifts that any of you can get me anytime you are feeling extra generous), but because I love being a dad. As my boys get older, I enjoy being a father even more. Let me just say--and this is a FACT--infants are not fun. I am not a fan of the infant. When you are done booing and hissing about how mean that sounded, allow me to tell you about a “dad moment” I had recently. Before becoming a dad, I envisioned certain dad moments in my head, and a couple of those visions have actually come to pass. I will tell you about one.

I grew up in St. Louis Cardinal country. No, no, REAL St. Louis Cardinal country. There was NO such thing as a fan who cheers for the Cardinals and Royals. I didn’t even know a Royal fan was real until I moved to Southwest Missouri. Until then, a Royal fan and Bigfoot were both in the same category; I had heard of both, never seen either. As a kid, I wanted to be Ozzie Smith (aka The Wizard, aka the greatest shortstop to ever live). Bob Gibson was the best and toughest pitcher who ever lived, and I have a couple of uncles who would fight you if you’d disagree. We watched Cardinal baseball, we listened to Cardinal baseball. I remember listening to Jack Buck and Mike Shannon on the radio while watching it on TV. Yes, the timing was a little off, but we didn’t care. Buck and Shannon brought the game to life more than a TV ever could.

But what does this all have to do with my “dad moment” you ask. Well, everything.

It was one of those cool rainy nights we had in late May. The windows were open, the smell of honeysuckle was dominating the room, and the box fan was blowing (GOD BLESS THE BOX FAN, I don’t sleep w/out one). Brecken was asleep on our bed and Brody was in his bed not yet asleep. I was lying on our bed with the Cards game on the radio and every light off, allowing nothing but the mahogany voice of Mr. Mike Shannon and my imagination tell me all about it. Jenny was in the living room watching a movie. Brody, as he often does, kept getting out of his bed and coming into ours. I took him back the first time, Jenny the second.

Brody is a persistent lil’ dude and he came into the bed the third time. Jenny was unaware, and I was too comfortable to get up and take him back to bed. To Brody’s surprise, I said, “Come on up here with daddy; let’s listen to the Cardinals.”  For the next 45 minutes, I was in heaven. It was like we were sitting at the feet of our old great uncle, Mike Shannon, as he told us a baseball story. I remember explaining things to Brody like “Yadi just got an RBI double.” Brody just smiled really big. He didn’t have a clue what I was saying or what was happening, but I didn’t care. I was in a “dad moment.” Long before I was a dad, I saw myself listening to a Cardinal game, with windows open, cool breeze over me, on some cool clean sheets with my son(s) beside me. Boom, THAT JUST HAPPENED. I suspect it will many more times.

I have had time to reflect on this moment many times. It is moments like this that lead me to the Book of Ecclesiastes. I don’t believe that Solomon taught us that life is meaningless, and to teach that would be to take the book out of context. I respectfully disagree with any translation that says life is meaningless. Vanity or “hebel” (Hebrew) means vapor or breath. LIfe is a vapor. I realize this truth. Allow me to do a Brad Lotz summary of Ecclesiastes: Life “under the sun” is short; enjoy the heck out of it and invest in what really matters. Let’s party. 
            I thoroughly enjoyed my “dad moment” with my boys listening to the Redbirds game. It stirred my affection for Jesus and caused me to be thankful to Him for such a moment. God gave me that moment, and it was here and gone (like a vapor). He wanted me to enjoy it. It would have been a sin not to.

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