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Paying attention

Passage for the Day: GENESIS 1

Verse for the Day: GENESIS 1:31

“Daddy, watch this.”

“Honey, are you listening to me?”

Almost every dad on earth has heard these words. They come from the members of his family who can see him but who suspect he’s really somewhere else—as the saying goes, “All the lights are on, but no one’s home.”

The first chapter of Genesis contains the story of creation. It’s the written account of an Almighty God who literally took nothingness and made something of it with the sound of his voice. God spoke, and everything appeared. From the Grand Tetons all the way down to mouse whiskers—a really incredible thing when you think about it.

As you read this account, you’ll notice that after each day of creation, God stepped back and took a look at what He had done. And when He had taken it all in, He declared it “good.”

You’re a dad. And of all the things you’re about, what follows is one of the most important.

It may be a stretch to say that you “created” this family, but it’s for sure that you had a lot to do with putting it together. None of this would have happened without you. That’s why these are your kids. And if you have step kids you’re a big part of their story as well.

But the way life is, new things happen every day—new challenges at work, new technology to deal with, new aches and pains as your body gets older. It’s only natural to get distracted and forget to keep noticing this thing you’ve had a part in building—your family.

The story of God’s creation is really the story of God paying close attention to what He had done. He did what He did, He took a good look, and He was pleased. And interestingly enough, the rest of the Bible confirms that God kept watching, day after day. He paid attention. He still does.

Most of us readily admit that, as dads, we have a lot to learn. This is a whole new experience for us—something our formal education didn’t include. So we learn as we go. Through some trial and error, we discover what works and what doesn’t. But given God’s example, we should rarely catch ourselves saying, “You know, I never saw it coming,” “When did she start doing that?” or “I guess I just wasn’t paying attention.”

Our challenge is not just to live with our families, but to really be there. To understand that our job as the dad is to really see what’s going on—to not succumb to the temptation of having our families, then getting on to the next thing without continuing to watch.

God’s pattern was to create, to pay close attention and to celebrate every day. A pretty good model to follow, don’t you think?

Copyright © 1999, 2014 by Robert D. Wolgemuth.

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