Amidst People and Pie

by Barry Newton
fatherson2.jpgYesterday evening as I sat on my son’s bed preparing to tuck him in for the night, life without TiVo meant that if I wanted to see the last thirty minutes of my TV program, the nightly routine would have to be quick. My goal was clear: one, two, three, move on to my older son and then back downstairs. I could do this.
Sitting on his bed, my younger son’s lean frame and hands caressed a black three-ringed binder filled with trading cards. With pride he announced he had reorganized his cards. Alacrity exuded from his being as he opened the binder and began to explain each card’s relationship to those surrounding it. I made a perfunctory comment about everything looking great. His stark curt reply still rings in my ears, “If you are going to try to hurry me, I am going to stop right now.”
People and pie can test our values. With a change of heart that would impress the Grinch, I chose the precious time of a son wanting to be with his dad. Thankfulness fills my heart for my son and that moment.
Moving on to my older son’s bedroom, an unexpected ten minutes remained before the show would end. Suddenly, the tension of the previous moment flooded in with renewed vigor. I could pray with him and still discover the ending of the story. Sitting on my customary spot on the bed, we prayed. We briefly talked about his research for a school paper. I stood up to turn off the lights. His words permanently etched the air, “Dad, I’m not ready for you to go yet.”
People and pie can test our values. With a change of heart that would impress the Grinch, I chose the precious time of a son wanting to be with his dad. Thankfulness fills my heart for my son and that moment.
The Thanksgiving holidays often reveal a strong and sometimes contrary mix of personal desires: watching sporting events, defending my hurt feelings, asserting my position, achieving personal goals, sharing a special moment, blessing another person, and thanking our Creator for everyone and everything he has given us. What values will win out thus driving our behavior in the following days?

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