Sounding Out Faith

My daughter floored me this week, absolutely blew me away. 

We sat snuggling in the big, comfy chair in our living room, a book opened in our lap.  Nothing new there.  I’ve spent way more time reading to her in the past five years than reading on my own.   I’ve been a rabid bookworm since birth, but Emma came into this world inheriting a double-dose of that DNA. 

Our father-daughter book club, however, shot to a whole new level when Emma turned to the first page and began reading to me. 

Wow.  I love those words. 

Emma.  Began.  Reading.  

It wasn’t just a word here or there, not just something she had memorized, but really plodding through word-by-word, sounding them out and telling a story. 

Sure she got stuck on some big words, but she was reading more than she wasn’t.  For someone without a passion for books, the pace would be maddening, but for a book-freak like me, it was pure delight. 

It’s like she’s the first kid who has ever learned to read. 

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy watching her learn to walk or talk or ride a bike, but reading?  Reading  blows them all away.   Those other activities are great – that walking and talking thing especially comes in handy – but if I had the choice in how to spend my day, the book would win hands down.

It’s my passion, and now it’s hers.  But it’s not just that she shares my passion.  We now share an ability to do something with it.    

I wonder if God feels the same way when I take the first awkward stab at doing the things He loves to do – giving generously, forgiving freely, loving someone other than myself.  He’s so good at it.  He’s been doing it for so long.  Me?  I definitely need help sounding out the big words – words like selflessness, faith and surrender.

My spiritual life is often like a five year-old learning to read.  Slow, halting, clumsy, but beautiful to the One who loves me. 

I can tell you from a father’s point-of-view, I only get frustrated with Emma when she gets discouraged and wants to give up.   Could the same be true of God?    

I genuinely think He delights when we love what He loves, but more than that, that He is thrilled when we begin to actually do what we see Him doing. 

Jesus had only one game plan for His life.  Keep an eye on His Father and do whatever He saw the Father doing.  Not a bad way to live.

I want to grow my passion for the things that make my Father’s heart beat fast.  I want to fearlessly take those awkward steps to doing what He does, and I want to turn to Him with confidence and ask for Him to help me walk through the stuff that’s too big for me to understand.   

God, help me sound out the big words of faith!

Sitting in my Father’s lap, there’s a whole world of stories to discover, and I don’t want to miss out on a single one.