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I took my kids to the park today. Lots of kids roaming around in the hot sunny weather. Some boys came along and sheltered in the shade of one of the play apparatus. One boy had been talking to my son as they played on a flying fox type piece of equipment.
The boys then sheltered again, and shared out some bags of crisps from a multi-pack bag. As they finished the bags, they tossed them away, as if they would vanish into thin air. I was irritated by their poor behaviour. I considered talking to them, and make them pick up their litter.
As I talked myself out of telling them off, suggesting in my mind that one of the boys had a wrestler of a Dad who might come and tell me off for telling his son off, my son walked over and proceeded to pick up the empty bags, now tumbling across the play area blown by the welcome breeze.
I noticed the boy who my son had been talking too took notice of this neighbourly act. But he said nothing. My son casually gathered the rubbish, and found a bin to put it in. No drama. Over in a matter of seconds. He needn't have done it, but I am proud he did. And for the sake of my wife reading this, yes, I did tell him!
As we were leaving the park my young daughter befriended a puppy. Jumping on the end of its lead, the puppy enjoyed my daughters attention. The owner admitted that even a little puppy needs a lot of care. I was grateful for that comment! And then as we left, my daughter said to the dog owner, "Thank you for letting me play with your dog."
I walked out of that park a very proud father. I commended may daughter for her comment. Then we jumped in the car and went to get something to eat.
1 John 2 (NLT)
15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
My kids made me proud of them today. I am proud of them anyway, but I hope you know what I mean. I was pleased they had behaved so well. In the Bible it talks about us being children of God. If God is our heavenly Father, is it possible for us to do things that please and disappoint our Father?
My kids behaviour today in the park made me wonder what I have done today that pleased God; that made Him proud of me, His son?
-Pr Nathan Stickland