We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Tunnel Vision, Part 3

Recently I realized something about my relationship to my dad that rocked my world. Everyone who knows me knows that I love to work. But I wasn’t always like this.

As I shared in parts 1 and 2 of this moment, my love for work was connected with my dad’s assignment to dig a tunnel under our patio.

Breaking through to the other side of the patio was a monumental moment for me. But until recently, I didn’t understand that it wasn’t actually the accomplishment of a difficult task that birthed this spirit of motivation in me; it was something else…something so powerful that I have passed it on to my children unintentionally.

Let me share briefly about my three adult children. Jonathan, my oldest, is a successful commercial broker in California and possesses an amazing work ethic. My daughter Jennifer is the part time art director at Lamplighter, teaches art to children and adults, is the founder of Jache Art Studios, has a pet portrait business and also loves to rock climb. My youngest son David recently graduated from college, works for Apple as a manager and refurbishes and resells classic motorcycles.

Each of my children them has a solid work ethic. It is one of the areas that I have been most proud of and spent the most time encouraging and preparing them for. I passed down to my children what my dad passed down to me. This powerful catalyst can even turn a lazy child into a hard worker. You see, when I broke through that wall of dirt, the first thing I heard on the other side was my dad cheering for me. His cheering and favor upon me during that moment changed the course of my life. It wasn’t the breakthrough of the dirt; it was the breakthrough of my father’s pleasure and affirmation.

We don’t have a lot of recorded dialogue between Jesus and his Father, but what we do have speaks volumes. Listen in: “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” God the Father speaks these words at his Son’s baptism and again speaks these same words at the Mount of Transfiguration. These words speak of identity (This is my son), of relationship (my beloved son), and pleasure (in whom I’m well pleased). When my dad cheered for me it sparked a motivation that I’ve now passed on to the next generation. Can you imagine what could happen if we’d all begin to connect like this with our children?

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