Once upon a time, there was an amazing Dad. He’d worked very hard prior to the births of his children to build and furnish a spacious, beautiful home, and he endeavored to keep it stocked with anything and everything they would need. He saw to it that they had access to all the knowledge they’d ever need to live full and successful lives. He also made himself personally available each time any child called for him, purposing to be fully engaged in every conversation. In fact, he understood the mind and heart of each individual child so thoroughly that he could accurately personalize every interaction. And, like any good dad, he would die to save any of their lives.
On one particular Father’s Day, his children – who were not always appreciative despite all that their dad provided – were arguing about what to give him. Suddenly, he ambled into the room, his arms overflowing with gorgeously wrapped packages of various sizes. Without saying a word, he stood in front of each child in turn, and set nine boxes before each one. Then he stood back and grinned.
“Dad, what are you doing?” the oldest asked. “It’s Father’s Day; we’re supposed to give you something, not the other way around.”
Dad smiled even more broadly. “Well, you know I truly don’t need anything but your love. And I decided that what I really wanted was to give each and every one of you these nine very special gifts. You see, there’s a box with red shiny paper for each of you, and then the one with green and blue polka dots for each of you…and all the others. So you each have the same nine gifts, but I also worked really hard to customize them for each of you. I would be so blessed if you would open them all and use them all every day in each moment that you need them.”
Have you guessed yet about the nature of my little allegory? The dad is, of course, our Heavenly Father, and the nine gifts he presented to each of his children are the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5.22-23). In reality, he lavishes that pile of blessings on us at the moment of each one’s spiritual birthday – the day any of us accepts Christ as Savior and, thus, becomes his spiritual child. But, of course, each spiritual birthday is like a Father’s Day to him, since each person’s choice to come to him by following Christ is what he most wants.
Some don’t realize the pile of gifts exists. Others see it but leave the packages in the corner, unopened. Still others open one or two, and leave the rest. And some open them all and do appreciate them all, but then put them on a shelf and too often forget to bring them down when they are most needed.
What our Father wants for us, though, is what the dad in the story said: I would be so blessed if you would open them all and use them all every day in each moment that you need them.
Will you honor your Heavenly Father on this Father’s Day and every day by doing that?
Photo Credit: torbakhopper