“Find A Good Tree”
With shooting time approaching and the stage set, that gas station coffee always seems to “kick in” if you know what I mean… I’m not talking about that caffeine jolt that keeps you conscious at work from 2pm til quittin’ time, I am talking about that gurgle in the gut that is the game clock counting down to that important play. With waders on and subzero temperatures, you realize that the cup of coffee that was immediately gratifying is now waging war on your insides. What’s next? “Find a good tree.”
I found myself in this situation a number of times last season and improvised with socks, t-shirt sleeves, and an occasional donation from a buddy’s TP stash in the blind bag. Each occurrence provided a good laugh for my friends and many clever nicknames for me amongst our group of buddies.
I am blessed to have experienced many years in the outdoors and found many “good trees.” Aspen Grace, our first born, is going to be 3 in December and she is full of energy and life. She loves the outdoors and will be in the blind in no time. On a recent fishing adventure, while finding a good tree, I laughed while reflecting on the many successes and failures we have had in the potty training season. In particular, each time Aspen plays outside and forgets all things and “Finds a good tree.”
The name of the game in parenting (not that I have it all figured out) is patience. Our role is not to create little humans that behave and follow the rules. In fact, as long as she is potty trained by kindergarten I will be pretty pleased. Our role as parents is to show our kids that they are sinners in need of a savior, and PATIENTLY guide them to what God’s Word says about the gift of salvation. Will potty training play eternal relevance in Aspen’s life? Doubtful. Will my patience and display of how a father should love his child? Absolutely.
My challenge to each of us dads and moms this season, parent with the big picture in mind. Get your kids into the blind, bring the harvest home so they can see how God’s creation provides for us, and have patience as you show them the greatest gift, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16.
I want to leave you with this reminder about the gift that our children are to us:
Children are a heritage from the Lord,Psalm 127:3-5
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
See you in the blind.