Thursday, April 15, 2010
Pastor's Perspective - Just Showing Up
Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” Last Saturday I was reminded of that truth.
For the past several weeks, our 8-year-old Lily had one thing on her mind – Kite Day! From her van seat perch behind her mother, she would read the sign promoting this annual family-fun event as she entered our Fairfield neighborhood. To Lily it all made sense – “I have a kite I’ve only used once. There is going to be a special day to fly it. I’m not going to miss it. I’ll ask the grey-haired guy who lives with us to take me!” So for days beforehand, Lily lobbied for Kite Day. Knowing the zaniness of my erratic schedule, I’d typically smile, feigning mutual enthusiasm, but careful not to commit myself.
Last Saturday, Kite Day arrived. I had spent the first half of the day doing chores, working-out, and doing general weekend things. By noontime I was already exhausted. I slipped into some comfortable hang-out clothes and was content to stay in the rest of the cold and windy day. Until Lily came home! Kite Day had just started and she had no problem conveying to me she was missing it. Immediately the bell rang and an internal wrestling match began in me.
I wrestled with my will versus my little girl’s. I battled with my comfort and her desire. I toiled with my convenience and her adventurous spirit. I grappled between my rich memories and her hunger to make more. I mean, didn’t Lily know or care that 47-year-old fathers need to shut down the engines when they can? In her playful little world, didn’t she know or care that adverse meteorological conditions can hamper even the best conceived plans?
So, I exchanged my old attitude for a new one, my comfy shorts for jeans, my t-shirt for a sweatshirt, and my remote for a kite. Needless to say, Lily was ecstatic.
The investment was minimal, but the dividends were immeasurable. We drove three minutes away and flew a kite twenty minutes, before she complained about the cold and asked to leave. Then we spent precious Lily-Daddy-time thawing-out at the local Starbucks over coffee and Double Chocolaty Chip smoothies.
Friends, what I would have lost out on if I had won that dumb wrestling match. In reality, nobody would have won, and an opportunity would have been lost. Instead, memories were made that will never be forgotten.
In the car on the short drive home, Lily looked up at me adoringly with a smile painted with a remnant of ‘chocolaty’ and absent a few teeth. “Daddy, let’s always go to Kite Day together; even when I’m grown up and married someday.”
Thanks for the reminder Woody.