It begins without an alarm. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had to use an alarm to wake up. I stumble around in the darkness for a moment and sneak quietly out of the bedroom. I pass through the living room turning on a lamp, the fish tank light and make my way to the kitchen. I begin heating up some water for the french press, grind my coffee beans, perhaps play a bit with the cat who is greeting my feet and then prepare my morning cup of coffee. Then I make my way to my easy chair to think, to pray, to read and to prepare for the day. This is pretty much my routine every day and it usually happens before 6 AM. Yes, guilty as charged, I am a morning person. And I love my routine. But sometimes…things change.
Today was one of those days. At around 5:37 I heard the bedroom door open that belonged to my eldest. He sauntered out and climbed up in my arms for a bit and just set there. Then he started his routine. At 5:45 a second bedroom door opened and out toddled the youngest and she climbed up in my arms and set for a while before beginning her morning routine. And honestly, I couldn’t have been more delighted. This was and is the best disruption to a morning routine a father can have.
I think that being a father, more than just about any other role in life, has helped me to understand the character of God a little better.* There was a time recorded in the gospels where Jesus’ routine/schedule was being interrupted and his disciples quickly intervened without realizing the context. “People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:13-15 Jesus became indignant? Those are strong words. And then He goes on to say that if we do not receive the kingdom like a child we will never enter in.
You see, that’s the thing about kids. They don’t understand decorum or etiquette when it comes to interruptions. If they want to get to you…they’re going to get to you. And I think that perhaps God has this same infinite patience and understanding for us as well. He’s the father waiting on the porch for his son to come home. He’s the God who entered into death and hell itself to make a way for us. He’s the Spirit that gives life to all creation and allows space for us. And he wants us to disrupt our lives/the world itself to be with Him. He wants us to climb up into the easy chair with Him and just rest a bit. So maybe your day looks a little different as you disrupt your schedule and routine to find time to be with the God who says, “Let my little children come to me”.
* I understand that the reference to God as a father is not always helpful to some as your earthly fatherly figure has been distorted or absent. For those who can I encourage you to seek out mentoring programs in order to help become a positive example of how an earthly father can reflect the love of the heavenly father such as http://www.thementoringproject.org/