"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6)
Daddy-daughter date day. One of my favorite days of all--especially when daddy is taking daughter to an Auburn basketball game. Saturday was going to be a blast. Little did I know the work that was going to be involved with this past Saturday's date day. When we arrived at the campus, the parking lots were full from Beard-Eaves coliseum all the way down to Mama Goldberg's Deli (if you haven't been to AU's campus, this is roughly 500 yards or so). Consequently, I end up parking in the very last parking lot right across the road from the distant deli. The walk began. Not your ordinary, everyday walk mind you. This walk consisted of a 30 lb. child in one arm, a packed bag of diapers, snacks, camera, and other child products in the other. And the traffic. Did I mention the traffic? Unreal!
People and cars seemed to limit my walking space with every single step. People were cutting in front of us left and right. Vehicles were failing to stop at the bright red sign with white letters that command them to "Stop!" Daddy was nervous. And by the time that daddy managed to carry daughter to the steps of the coliseum, he was exhausted. Nevertheless, we were there. No more walking and carrying for daddy--or so he thought. I paid for a ticket and walked into the stadium with youthful expectation that this game would be promising. I could feel myself getting excited as I heard the band play. I could see the cheer on the face of Ellie Kate as she took in all of the happenings around her.
That is when it happened.
I looked at the ticket to find our seats. Could you believe that it was at the very top row in the entire arena? In addition, it was the longest distance from where we were at the time. And so, daddy now has a 30 lb. daughter in one arm, a bag full of stuff in the other, and a cardboard container full of nachos and cheese plus a coke balancing somewhere in between the two while walking up an ever growing flight of stadium stairs! Talk about a workout. Talk about a safety hazard!
As if the journey to the top row wasn't enough, some of the people around us seemed exceptionally rude. At several times during the march to the top, it was as if I had a sign on my forehead that read, "Please cut in front of me! Please act as if I do not exist! Please act as if my daughter and I are insignificant casualties of your world!" I guess that you can tell by now that this preacher was getting frustrated. Well, that would be an understatement.
But, then something hit me like a ton of bricks. A conviction from the Holy Spirit stirred my soul. As I stepped up the last couple of stairs, I realized that I was that person/those people. I was that college student that didn't show courtesy to a struggling daddy just trying to enjoy some time with his daughter. I was that lady in the car that didn't stop at the stop sign. I was the disgruntled old man in the seats in front of us that made disrespectful remarks to the refs during the game. I was all those people toward God. How many times had I cut in? How many times did I act like he didn't exist? How many times did I say exactly what my sinful heart desired without regard to his holiness? And then I thought of this verse:
"We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
How many times had I turned my own way, without regard to my heavenly Father? More times than I would like to admit. How many times had I cut in and insisted that I live my life by my own standards, without regard to His will? More times than I'd like to admit.
When all is said and done, we are all these people (or have been these people)! Selfish, arrogant, inconsiderate, and inappropriate sinners in need of unconditional love. The good news? The good news is that God loves us just this way--unconditionally. As we cut in, He loves. As we fail to stop, He waits patiently. As we are inconsiderate, He considers us enough to send His own son to die on a cross for our sins. For our rebellion. For our selfishness.
Auburn ended up loosing the basketball game. Yet, it was a wonderful daddy-daughter date day. It was also a wonderful Father-son experience. It was a wonderful reminder of just how much my heavenly Father loves me. It was a wonderful reminder of how much He loves all of us.
When everyone around us seems to find us insignificant, He sees significance. When we fail to consider Him...
He considers us still.