My position in our household has changed. I have been overtaken. I used to be the tallest person in the family, even despite losing the additional height afforded by having hair. Now, however, I have been overtaken in height by Thomas, my 15 year-old son. It’s not as if I have shrunk (other than my hairline).
It feels a bit like a game of Mario Kart I was playing against him a while ago. I was happily zooming along in the lead with the finishing line in sight, not anticipating anything preventing me from taking the victory and gloating joyfully (but graciously), when all of a sudden Thomas overtook me and beat me on the line. It seems that he appeared from nowhere, and the same feels true of his sudden growth spurt. How did it happen?
I may seem bitter or regretful about this relegation, but I am not. I find it remarkable that the small(ish) baby I held in my arms 15 and a bit years ago has now grown taller than me. I am proud of the way he has grown and matured as a person (as I am also of my daughter, Hannah, but thankfully she has not yet grown taller than me). I felt that fatherly pride last Sunday in a special way.
Last Sunday morning both of them took part in leading our church as members of the youth group who took over the morning service. In addition to the ‘normal’ parts of our service like singing, Bible readings and praying we also had a ‘Cool Wall’ of Bible characters (see Top Gear for an explanation), a great drama depicting the early part of David’s life and then his victory over Goliath and an exuberance of youthful joy and enthusiasm as they all took part in different ways.
Hannah played the drums, narrated a drama and spoke about what life is like for her at school and Thomas played keyboard, acted in the drama (as Goliath, appropriately) and preached the sermon! I sat there being blessed both by what the all young people said and did as a member of the congregation and being blessed by what Thomas and Hannah were doing in particular as a proud dad.
That’s how God feels when he looks at you as you follow Jesus.