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Conditional Blessings

8 June 2008

Eldredge has a good piece on his blog about the conditional connection Jesus makes between listening to his voice and experiencing the blessing of God in John 10.  

I had been thinking about that recently because the boys are now on summer vacation; they have a lot of time on their hands and a mom with a home business.  When I get a chance to install the Wii that Gram sent them this past week, the stakes will be even higher.  Will our oldest boy – now a young man, at 12 and a half – step up and lead the way, giving the younger ones an example of listening to mom and dad, obeying, and keeping unity?  Will the younger ones follow?

Yesterday before the soccer game I packed up the mower, the Weed Eater [TM], and the soccer gear to head over to our old house, which still has not sold.  I asked – remind me to unpack that a bit in terms of what Willard finds in the Sermon on the Mount – my oldest boy if he would be willing to go with me and run the mower while I run the Weed Eater.  

I was expecting a groan, followed by a lame excuse.

What I got was:  “Sure, Dad.”  We got in the minivan and headed out, listening to Boston’s “Don’t Look Back.”  He told me he really liked hanging out with me.  (Temptation:  “Who are you, and what have you done with my eldest son?”)

About a mile out, my son asked if he can have a 44oz Vault [TM] at the Toot ‘N’ Totum after we finish, as an incentive (his words) to do a really good job so people might want to buy our house. 

Maybe I should have seen through the play he was making.  Maybe I should have been more cynical about his cynical move, thinking he could wheedle a big, sugary drink out of me if he’s just polite enough, pushes just the right buttons.

All I could think of was this:  what a delightful day this is turning out to be.  Sure, Samuel, I’d love for you to have a 44oz. Vault; and maybe even a big Badger sandwich on garlic at the Bagel Shop.

I love being a father with enough resources to bless my children with good things when they listen to me.



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