As much of the country suffers from drought conditions, we have also seen less than average rainfall in Arkansas so far this year. I hate to use the sprinklers and would much prefer that nature do my watering for a number of reasons. But, in order to salvage what is left of our backyard, I decided it probably would be good to water this morning. So, I set up the sprinkler near our bird feeder and began to provide drink to our thirsty lawn.
As I watched the sprinkler pattern from inside the house I noticed something about our population of squirrels that have positioned themselves under our little bird feeding devices. Not all squirrels like water. Most of them that were foraging for good seeds deposited by rummaging birds would scatter when the rotating sprinkler would come their direction. But, there was one tenacious squirrel who seemed oblivious to the water that would periodically spray over him. And, as it turned out for the few minutes I observed him, he was the only one reaping the benefit by persevering in the midst of the conditions. There were no other squirrels to fight for seeds. He was having a great time and enjoying the fruit of his labor and steadfastness. It got me thinking.
As a dad, there are plenty of things that distract us from the fruit of the joy of being a dad. Work…projects…kids temperaments…maybe more permanent conditions that we didn’t expect when we heard those words from our wives…WE’RE PREGNANT. On this weeks rerun of an episode of the now cancelled Extreme Home Makeover (I know…I normally don’t watch that show to avoid the inevitable flow of tears that come from nowhere…what kind of man am I anyway), a couple who invested heavily into a program in their community called the Sparrow Club (Nonprofit organization of school-based clubs that assists children in medical crisis and their families, both financially and emotionally.), got a home makeover for them and their two autistic children. As usual, it was a moving program. This family gave so much to their community, persevering through their own family issues and it was good to see them rewarded. I thought about them as I watched that squirrel. Here’s a family who persevered through the difficulties they faced and, ultimately they were rewarded.
As dads, we don’t always get “the house” for our perseverance. But, we get something better. We get children who will ultimately know that they have a dad who cares for them, loves them and will be there always. There is no guarantee in parenting (as we’ve said many times in the DadPad), but the key to being a better dad is to persevere through all the wrenches that get tossed at us. Illusions of success in the workplace, so many things that vie for our time and resources, often a lack of returned gratitude for that sacrifice and the challenges of living in this fallen world. Thankfully, our eyes are not on this world to define our success. Raising children and loving our wives while we keep our eyes on the things “above” are our marching orders as men, leaders and followers of Christ.
So, today let’s be like the squirrel who didn’t care that he was getting wet and, as a result, persevered to the point of filling his stomach while we get a bigger prize when we persevere as dads…healthy children and families!