We met some friends the other day at a camp site where they were staying for the weekend. They had come in from out-of-town with a group of people and we met them to cook out and catch up. It got dark and we enjoyed a campfire, with smores and the whole deal. The campground was pretty full, with individual sites all around filled with people who we didn’t know and weren’t associated with our friends.
The kids were all having a good time and running around. Our three-year old, Haynes, was having fun like any little boy would. We were diligent about making sure that one of us was watching him since he is so active and so young at the same time. Well, 30 seconds after spotting him within 10 feet of us, we started to look around and couldn’t find him. Our daughter, Olivia, said “there he is” and pointed through the dark at the next campsite over where a man was playing with a couple of kids. When I got to them, however, it wasn’t him.
We continued our search and started to get a little more concerned and determined to find him. This went on for a very short time, but it was one of those instances where time seems to kind of stand still. I started to pray but only as I was jogging and calling his name. Within minutes, there he was. He had been attracted to some decorative lights a couple of cabins over and went over for a closer look. Nothing bad had happened and the whole thing probably only took 2 minutes.
During the two minutes, all I wanted was my son back. I was singularly focused on putting my arms around him. I was intent with a burning passion to protect him. When that was accomplished, all was well again as the reunion was comforting and fulfilling.
That’s the right and normal reaction for a dad. A dad offers protection and when a child is attracted to something that takes them away from the protection offered, there is concern. The protection that is offered is only effective to the extent that it is trusted and relied on. It is only useful to the extent that it is valued above the attractions from outside of that protection.
I’m only safe when I stay within the protection of my Dad. I can only trust my Dad’s protection to the extent that I submit to it and trust Him for it. I can’t decide to chase every attraction that calls from the world and believe that the protection I value will be effective. For so long as I restrain my immature wandering towards the illusion of the lights, I will rest in the Comfort and Protection of my Father.