The sun had barely risen yesterday when Trent and Troy burst into our bedroom.
“You gotta open it, Dad! You gotta open it!” eight-year-old Troy and ten-year-old Trent repeatedly hollered.
I rubbed the sleep from my eyes. One of the boys was holding a small wrapped box.
It was Father’s Day 2011, my 11th year as a dad.
Troy had picked out the gift and so he was particularly excited to have me open the package. “Open it! Open it!” again rose the chorus. I tore into the box to discover a beautiful watch.
I love the watch, of course, and told them so, but the enthusiasm with which they presented it to me was the best part of the gift.
Enthusiasm – one of the most wonderful qualities in all of life. The origin of the word is instructive: En meaning in, theos meaning God. God in us.
I’m aware that some of you are struggling today with some very serious challenges, but I hope you remember that God remains in full control. Has it ever occurred to you that each new day is a bit like a wrapped up box, chosen especially for you? But do you greet its reception with enthusiasm – or a sense of dread, boredom or even flat out irritation?
Children are great teachers, if only by their innocent and natural actions. In watching my boys bounce about our room yesterday, eagerly awaiting me opening their gift, I was reminded of God’s great gift, which came in the person of His Son. Because Jesus died, I can live with the knowledge and confidence that because I know Him, my debt is already paid. But I’m also challenged to remember the enthusiasm and sacrifice with which this gift of eternal life was given.
As the sun rises on each new day, do I embrace the coming hours with enthusiasm?
The late writer Arthur Gordon once suggested that he had discovered a practical means by which to revive his sense of wonder by saying to himself each day:
Suppose this were the only time. Suppose this sunset, this moonrise, this symphony, this buttered toast, this sleeping child, this flag against the sky . . . suppose I never experience these things again!
Give it a try – and let me know what you see and hear, perhaps for the very first time.