Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Always On Duty

I’ve just finished working on an upcoming sermon from 1 Timothy 3 on the qualifications for serving as a deacon in the church. While I have never been a deacon, there are several overlapping characteristics for deacons and elders/pastors. One of those is being a Godly father. This means that I am to teach, lead and oversee my children. That is a challenge. It reminds of a recent event at the Porter house so I'll share this fun tale with you.

A couple of weeks ago, we were struggling to keep Isaac and Maddox in the bed at night. There were several nights in a row that we would sense a presence moving about the house long after they should have been asleep. For several nights we worked to help them understand that when we put them in the bed it is time for them to go to sleep and not wait up for the third shift to begin so they could clock in and go to work. I will have to admit that after the third night or so they wore me down. It was on a Saturday night that Monica kept saying she thought one of them was up…or at least she thought something was up. I did my best to reassure her that her children respected their parents and would not dare get up after several nights of correction. Keep in mind that the boys are four years old. (I’m sure they will disobey beyond their fifth birthday, but knowing their age will put the crime in perspective.)

Anyway, she was right. Indeed, they were up and very active to say the least. Maddox’s passion the week or so before this night had been creating water fountains in the bath tub. At some point past 11:30 on this Saturday night he decided it was time for a new challenge – building a fountain out of cars in the sink. He loaded as many cars as he could into the sink and turned the water on full force. His greatest mistake was that he didn’t realize fountains must have drains or they will overflow…and dozens of cars in the sink tend to clog the drain.

Somewhere around 5am we were awakened to the sound of running water. Monica, of course, is the first up. She first discovers most of the lights in the house are on then she discovers the Maddox-made lake that is freely flowing. I should add that it is flowing freely throughout their bathroom floor and out to the carpet in their bedroom.

Later on in the morning Maddox admitted that he made the mess and tries to explain by saying that he was “only trying to build a fountain”. The long story short is that he loses his cars until the carpets dry which takes about two days and I end up learning the most from this fountain of knowledge. There are times when leading my children is not convenient. There are times when leading my children hurts. Yes, it is painful to get up at midnight or 2am to go in and lead them to go to sleep and not attempt to build aquatic feats in the middle of the night. That night I dropped the ball. But I learned that I need to go the extra mile even when my desire to lead our children is not free flowing. Thank God for hard lessons and may we learn from them!

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