It was not one of my finer moments. I had just got home from a meeting with a friend where I learned some disappointing news. The kind of news where you’re happy for someone else and where your ability choose joy and to be a good Christian is stretched. Where you know what the right response is and now you have to tell your face to communicate what it should, rather than what it’s feeling. Yep, that kind of meeting. Praise God, the meeting went in the direction it should have. I did the right thing! It was AWESOME! Then I walk into my house a bit on exhausted but feeling good. My home has always been a place of refuge for me. The place where Dad (that’s me) is hero and can always find love, rest, strength and encouragement. Of course that’s between playing referee to our triplets, handyman (which I’m awful at by the way), doctor, coach, cook, custodian, cheerleader, counselor, tutor, teacher, entertainer, principal and Chief. These are all hats I wear proudly but nevertheless demand much attention and energy. This was one of those days where my Dad tank was low and my loving husband tank wasn’t anything to write home about. I was in desperate need of refueling.
I walked in the door of my home, “Hey everybody!” Silence. My wife says to our kids, “Did you say hi to Daddy?” My kids are glued to their own activities but manage to make eye contact for a second and greet me. I knew something was up. I’m use to kids jumping into my arms and giving me a Kings welcome every time I come home from work. Not today. I could tell something was occupying my wife’s attention and not in a good way. Then it all became clear. The 1st shot is fired. “Your son lost his 3DS”, she says. Now, for those who don’t have young children and perhaps don’t know what a 3DS is, it’s a handheld Nintendo digital gaming system. They run about $200. Our family can’t afford to throw away $200. I began to see RED! I lost it. All the frustrations of the day flowed threw me like a tsunami crashing toward the beach. I made sure everyone in the house knew that the King wasn’t happy. I offered no solution in the moment, only great disdain for the people I love the most. It was not a good moment for me.
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
In this moment, I was clearly a fool. The house was quiet. My wife had taken our two girls to run an errand and my son was upstairs in his room crying. I called my boy to me…held him close to my chest…I apologized. It was important to me that he knew how much I loved him and how my response to this situation was not one I was proud of. It was in that moment that the fool (me) gave room for the wise (God).
We still haven’t found my boy’s 3DS. He’s doing extra chores to earn the money to buy a new one. Don’t get it twisted, the Powell’s still don’t have 3DS money to just be losing portable gaming systems. That FOOL…I mean…my boy will have to face the consequence of his poor stewardship. The difference in this response is, it builds strength and offers a solution. My prayer is that my son never feels rejected by me when he falls short, but rather strengthened by me knowing that he’s never going to have to face his failures alone. I’ll always have his back. Just like God has always got mine.