Searching for Connection

 

My father, Joe, was a tremendous force in my life. As a little boy, I couldn’t wait to see the door open when he returned home from his seven-on seven-off schedule of working offshore. He would kiss Mom, then reach down and unwrap my arms from his tree-trunk legs. Bending down he would pull me close with his blue eyes looking for evidence of any recent growth.

 

My dad yearned for connection with me.

 

In my middle school years, Dad owned a grain elevator in south Louisiana which I thought of as a skyscraper. When I got the chance to visit, I would burst into his office hoping to see his face light up with the smile that was always there when I ran through the door. In high school, Dad would shut down his work, drive through countless farming communities to see me play basketball. No matter the outcome we replayed the game at the kitchen table over gumbo, steaks, or just coffee when we returned home.

 

My dad yearned for connection with me.

 

After college, I moved to Houston to begin my career in the recruiting industry. I rapidly moved into leadership roles opening six offices, the final one being in my own business. When I took breaks to drive back home, Dad would sit with rapt attention as I shared stories of various victories won, still doing play by play over gumbo, steaks, or sometimes coffee just like a basketball game.

 

My dad yearned for connection with me.

 

I still remember the day he challenged me when he asked, “you tell me of the wins you have had in your business. Yet I know there are struggles you have got be facing that you don’t share. I want to be in the game with you as well when you are getting beat.” Realizing I didn’t want to worry him, I had developed the self-reliance to be a man, to fight my battles on my own. I started sharing more of the bumps, bruises, and falls and found my dad was no less interested, not disappointed. I learned that he worried more about me when I wasn’t talking to him, not bringing him into my life during the dark periods as well as the glowing victories.

 

My dad yearned for connection with me.

 

In my journal this morning, this post came from my opening question “Do I know how much God yearns to talk to me?” My mind has been filled with the smoke of chaos caused by the scare of COVID-19, the crash of the economy, the strain as it returns to its feet. Now the social unrest whose anger has flamed not only across the country but like a virus cascading around the globe. In trying to make sense, I realized I’m spending too much time reading what politicians and pundits are saying and not in focusing my mind on what steps God wants me to take today. To serve others. To grow through this struggle and not be crushed by it. The prophet Jeremiah’s inspired words gave us a message from God:

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

We need to hear those words today, I know I do. They come from a Heavenly Father who delights when I look for him to burst through the door, who delights when I run into His presence. Today I can rely on the fact that when I wrap my arms around His legs, He will bend down and lean closer to see if I have grown. He will pay rapt attention when I thankfully bring my victories to Him and be in angst with me through my struggles. As I look back through every turn in my life God has been there, guiding, directing traffic, opening doors, and picking me up. Today I rest in the fact that…

 

My Father yearns for connection with me.

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