My wife and I do some baby-sitting for a single mom we know so she can have some well-deserved “alone” time. Recently, we took her two munchkins to the dollar theater and watched “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.”
Normally I would prefer a root canal over an animated kids’ movie, but there was one particular scene that made the whole thing bearable. The young boy (Sherman) loved and respected his adoptive father (Mr. Peabody) and they had a great relationship. One day, his “friends” were deriding him saying, “Do you do everything your father tells you to?”
Sherman replied, “Well … yeah.”
“Do you know what that makes you?” they said mockingly.
He paused, thought, and then answered back, “An obedient son?”
Growing up, the idea of obeying my dad usually meant doing chores around the house instead of doing what I really wanted to do — go golfing. It had a negative connotation attached to it. There was no real joy in obeying my dad. When I became born again and renewed my relationship with God, I wasn’t super excited to hear how much He wanted me to “obey” Him. It took me awhile to realize that obeying His commands was not “burdensome” (1 John 5.3) and that I actually experienced joy from doing life the way He designed it to be done.
Like Sherman, we all have the opportunity to be “adopted” by an awesome Father who will love us and care for us like no earthly parent ever could. And since He’s up in Heaven, we can’t show Him how much we love Him by jumping up and giving Him a big old bear hug. So we do it by obeying Him. John 14.21 says, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he is the one who loves Me,” and again in John 14.15, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
Before I became a Christian, every day was “Brad’s Day” and I did whatever I pleased. Now I look at every day as “Father’s Day” and I try to figure out what pleases God and do that. My goal is to be an “obedient son.” And I hope He feels a big old hug from a million miles away every time I am!
• Brad Butler is a PGA golf pro who attends Mountain Park Community Church in Ahwatukee Foothills. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.