October 12th, 2009
Before I was an “actual” father, I had visions of grandeur when I considered what my little munchkin could . . . scratch that . . . would be.
Now I’m a fairly logical individual with a decent grasp on reality. I understand and embrace the strengths and limitations in my own life. I realize that I’m an okay writer and a pitiful golfer. I know that I can sing well enough to lead a worship service, but I won’t be selling a million records as an artist anytime soon. Physically, I have come to grips with the fact that while some of my friends can do one sit-up and produce six-pack abs, my particular body style demands that any miniscule, physical improvement will only come after months of logging every calorie and a rigorous personal regiment of intense exercise. Yeah, I’m realistic.
So why should I consider it illogical to think that Sadie will be regularly sinking birdies at WPGA events or knocking down Nobel prizes like their going out of style? Is it too lofty an aspiration as a father to dream that my little girl might find the cure for cancer or write books that influence the lives of millions around the world? Okay, maybe it’s a bit lofty. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell her that I expect these things from her anytime soon . . . at least not until she’s four or five years old . . . give me some credit.
The reality of our Sadie’s present skill set is a bit more down to earth than my longterm dreams of what she may someday become. I’m thrilled when she says “Dadt” (see previous blog history). I’m elated when she successfully points to my nose or when a “no-no” deters her from an attempted expedition into one of the kitchen cabinets. At this point, I guess I’m easy to please.
One particular characteristic that Sadie seems to have excelled at from day one isn’t exactly one that I’ve been walking around bragging about. It hasn’t won us any awards and we haven’t made the finals on America’s Funniest Home Videos. The “skill” in question is Sadie’s uncanny ability to grow teeth. Now I have to tell you, this child has been teething since just a few months into this crazy adventure. She had teeth coming in so early that I just knew she was already ahead of her peers . . . in teeth-growing, mind you . . . but ahead nonetheless. I theorize that she must have seventy-five or eighty teeth crammed into that little mouth of hers.
This particular skill, at first glance, has seemingly produced more pain than praise. Little sharp teeth taking months and months to burrow out of their embedded cavernous homes deep within her delicate little gums . . . yeah, it’s been a real blast. Sadie’s superhuman ability to produce teeth has also produced the lesser-known superpower of supersonic drooling. Spider Man has webs. Superman has strength. Batman has . . . well, a fanny pack. Sadie has drool . . . and rivers of it. I can already see visualize the movie trailer. “In a world where crime rules, one little girl dared to drool. Sadie Driver is . . . the Droolinator!”
Well, a caped-crusader she may never be, but a teething veteran she most definitely is.
For any of you out there who may be unversed in the art of parenting, teething isn’t just about teeth. The process produces other undesirable byproducts as well. Runny noses. Irritability. Diarrhea. Constipation. Ear infections. In some cases, even fever.
Sadie hasn’t had all of these symptoms, but she’s overachieved in the areas of runny nose, irritability, and her speciality . . . ear infections. Try three ear infections in the first year. I know that that’s common among babies, but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. Who knew that all of these issues could be caused by these tiny infant incisors?
In all seriousness (which usually isn’t much for me), God has a plan for Sadie that He hasn’t chosen to let me in on. As a pastor, I’ve learned that sometimes the things I seem to understand in the lives of strangers doesn’t always translate into an understanding of my own family. In other words, when I come home, it’s time to take off my pastor’s hat and let down what little hair I have left. My wife and daughter need a husband and a daddy . . . who needs to be the spiritual leader, but not in the same respect as church. Pastoring my home is nothing like pastoring my church.
All that being said, God’s plan for Sadie’s life thankfully supersedes mine. His Word reveals that “ . . . No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (I Corinthians 2:9 NLT). That means that His scheming for her is much higher than mine . . . and my schemes are pretty extraordinary.
Can you even begin to imagine what kinds of things God imagines? Just consider that six days of His imaginary musings produced the universe and the earth as we know it. I know what you’re thinking. “Yeah, but God may not have that kind of glory in mind for my life. No one around seems to be that special either.” Ah, but such a perspective only takes into account the thumbnail of time that our earthly lives really are. Juxtapose that against the canvas of an endless eternity . . . an eternity where within we will do more than float around on clouds and play harps . . . and we begin to see maybe just a glimpse of the potential God is dreaming over our lives.
The point is, just like my little plans for little Sadie, God’s plans for each of us is greater than the plans we can conjure for ourselves- in the present and in the annals of eternity. So while at present we may feel adept at things that seemingly have no value . . . simply “teething” our way through life . . . we can rest assured that the heavenly Father’s dreams entail a lot more greatness . . . and a lot less drool.