Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home!
It's the words that no child ever wants to hear. And it's not just the impending thrashing that caused the dread to billow in one's mind. Like Tom Petty says, "The waiting is the hardest part."
I'll bet my mother uttered those immortal words a hundred times before I reached the age of ten (by that time, she grew weary of waiting and had taken to beating me herself. Switch, flyswatter, clothes hanger, rolling pin - whatever she got her hands on first would suffice).
When she would make this announcement she would abruptly gesture with one hand toward my room...and off I would trudge to the 'penalty box' to sit in shame until Dad got home. When Dad showed up to the house it wasn't a big surprise, though. Dad drove a VW Bug for as long as I can remember. You could hear the sound of his chariot from a block away. To this day, that all-too-familiar engine sound can still cause me to jump and twitch nervously in fearful anticipation of what was to come.
The most tragic thing about days like this wasn't just the fact I was about to get a beating...it's that it robbed me of running out to see Daddy. My brothers and I loved sitting by the front window waiting for Dad to pull into the driveway. The three of us would crawl all over each other to be the first person to hug Dad. NOT getting to participate in that Battle Royale was tortuous.
And now that I'm a Dad, I know how much my dad must have hated these kinds of days. I hate walking in the door only to learn that one of my boys is up in their room waiting to be punished. I want to come home and hug my family - not do my best impersonation of Ivan the Terrible. So I feel confident my father felt the same way.
One of my most favorite books of the Bible is 1st John. It's a book that talks about the love that we are to have for one another, for ourselves, and for our God. It's a letter written by a father BEGGING his 'children' to get their attitudes right so that their Father will be pleased.
In 1st John 2:28 he writes, "...continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed." I love hearing my Dad tell me he was proud of me. I'm 41 years old, and I still enjoy hearing those words.
I want my Heavenly Dad to find me sitting by the window. I don't know when He will be home...but I sure hope He will be proud of you and me...