Quite a few years ago, I was having the kind of day where things kept happening, and most all of
them frustrating. I was returning to town from a stressful day-long meeting just in time to be late for everything. I had picked up my then twelve-year-old son from practice and we were rushing to the elementary school to catch my youngest son‘s play performance. Walking into the school I was still on the phone putting out fires. As I closed my phone with that frustrated sigh, my son said, “I‘m sorry daddy.” I didn‘t even slow my pace when I replied…”Sorry? It‘s not your fault.” ” I know daddy,” he said, “I just thought that you needed to hear it.”
I knew he was growing up, but until that moment I had not realized how intuitive he had become. God always seems to give us exactly what we need. My son‘s words chased away not only my frustration, but also my inattentiveness. In that moment he was for me just like the angel who appeared to the shepherds bringing good news of the birth of a savior (Luke 2:10-11).
It‘s easy to let the problems and busyness of life distract and even overwhelm us. We began to focus on putting out fires and all the frustrations around us often losing sight of the moment and each blessing it contains. We become so wrapped up in ourselves that we forget what‘s important and fail to be examples of faith and trust to those around us. There is a greeting card poem that puts it so well:
“If our greatest need was for information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need was for technology, God would have sent a scientist. If our greatest need was for pleasure, God would have sent an entertainer. If our greatest need was for money God would have sent an economist. But since our greatest need is for forgiveness, God sent a savior.”
Christmas should be a reminder of God‘s answer to our biggest need: a child to save us…to save us from ourselves. A child to remind us that God is always with us to provide, guide and forgive. That night my son was right. I did need to hear those words, just not from him. I had to stop and tell him how proud I was of the man he was becoming. I had to say, “I‘m sorry.”