Tonight, my parents came over to celebrate Andrew’s birthday. Late in the evening, my dad picked up the Martin guitar that he had given Andrew and started playing. He played bluegrass songs I remember hearing from my childhood and high school years. Back then, I was into what I thought was cool music. I really didn’t care to sit and listen to this stuff I thought was old and outdated. But as I listened again tonight, I saw something beautiful. My dad still plays these songs with such skill. His fingers moved from fret to fret with astounding speed and accuracy. The resulting sounds, especially when he hit harmonic chimes, was so good.
It reminded me of many things from my childhood that I did not have a taste for, completely missing the beauty of them. I was always begging mom to take us out to eat. I didn’t much care for eating at home. Years later, I am begging mom when she comes over to cook, for I long for a meal that has been thoroughly prepared with meats, vegetables, flavor, and most importantly, love. Though I don’t always get what my dad is talking about with bluegrass, I now appreciate the skill and heart that musicians such as Bill Munroe and Chet Atkins would bring every night on that Grand ‘Ol Opry stage.
When I hear high school students today offer their distaste for things that their parents offer, I chuckle. They simply don’t understand yet that there is high beauty in those provisions. Yes, it’s part of growing up. We have to get out of the house and set out on our own, pursuing life without them. But I wonder how many students will find that the things that they thought were so “uncool” about their parents are actually the things they miss the most. As Russell said to Carl in Pixar’s Up, “Those times might sound boring, but I think it’s the boring times I liked the best.”
I find these things to be true of my relationship with my heavenly Father as well. How often do I simply want to just go the way of the prodigal son, to live my life free of all these “nagging” things that come with being in a relationship with my Father? Only when I am away and see the emptiness of the world do I find that those things that seemed nagging were actually beautiful. I have a home with Him. I have a love far greater, richer, and purer in His will for my life. I miss the songs He plays that speak of His faithfulness. I miss the meals furnished at His table, serving after serving of grace and peace freshly prepared for my hungry and weary heart. So I return to my Father running toward me, sweeping me up in His loving arms.
If ever I become a husband and parent, I am certain that the things I enjoy and desire for my children to enjoy might come off as “uncool” to them. I hope that I will continue to show them the love my parents have shown to me, the love that the Father created and demonstrated when my Savior died on the cross. Maybe they, too, will find the little things of my life to be the things that matter most to them.
Currently enjoying the music of Be My Thrill by The Weepies.