The Watch

"For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his paths." Proverbs 5:21

One of the discoveries a new father makes is the joy it brings to their child to call out, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy...Watch me!" The most important thing for my two little daughters was the need to verify that Daddy was watching them. Every time they attempted to repeat something they had just learned to do, or if they were about to enter into a new adventure, they would call out, "DADDY! WATCH ME!" It still brings a smile to my face when I recall those times when it meant the world to them to have their Daddy's eyes on them. It still means the world to me, and now from the predawn hours, until I call it a day, I am still watching over them whether they know it or not. Some things never change.

Dads know a child can be relentless in the pursuit of their undivided attention. It is not enough for them to know that they are being heard. There must be eye-contact. There must be acknowledment. It is hugely important that their call is heard, but then in addition to this, they MUST be seen. Children have been known to drive their fathers to exasperation with the constant, repeating of and ramping up of the attention-getting cry, "Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy? Daddy? Daddy? DADdy! DADdy! DADdy! DADDEE! DADDEE! DADDEE!" The call of the child is for the father of the child to make eye-contact with their own child to assure the child that their words are being heard and their presence in acknowledged. No other Daddy will do. Their call is directed to the one who they want to impress the most.

Being heard and being seen are evidently HUGELY important to little girls. I can remember times when my girls would call out to me while I was on the phone, in the middle of another conversation, or watching a particularly exciting sports program on TV. I would ignore their cry for a while, knowing deep down inside that it was futile to do so. When I just couldn't stand it any longer, I would blurt out, "Why don't you just go ahead and ask the question?! Why do I have to be watching you when you say it?" For them, it was more about eye-contact with me than the answer they got from me. What they were looking for was a sense of my presence and interest in their life. If they wanted a really good answer, they were smart enough to know they could go ask their mother. What they wanted was time with me.

Note to fathers of little girls: Your daughters get their sense of self-worth and self-esteem from you. Don't make them vulnerable to the schemes of others who are willing to give time to them to get what they want from them. Give yourself to your little ones. Make time for them in your life. Let them know that they are important to you. I will yield to the parents of little boys to speak on the possiblity of any similarities.

The message of Proverbs reminds us that the Father is always watching over His children. He is aware of the choices made and the paths taken by His children. This is not meant as a threat to His children, but an invitation to seek His direction, protection and correction. The Wise child of God will never tire of running into their Father's Presence and calling out, "Watch me!" The Fool hides behind their own "I" problem and refuses to make eye-contact with their Father. They are deluded into believing that God cannot see what they are up to if they don't put it before Him. Prayer becomes harder and harder for them the longer they postpone coming into His Presence willingly. The Wise know that nothing is hidden from God. They have learned that any degree of separation from the path He has chosen for them is best corrected by immediate admission to Him and themselves that they are off course. Prayer promptly intitates immediate obedience and avoids the accumulative error that separates children from the awareness of their Father's watchful eye.

Prayer makes eye-contact with your Father. It brings joy to His heart to have His children cry out to him, "Watch me!" Two things break your Father's heart, rebellion and repentance. When a child separates himself from the love of their Father it is because of the "I" problem. Whenever you find sIn in your life, you will find "I" right in the middle of it. Children with an "I" problem need to run into the Presence of their Father more than ever, and call out, "Watch me!" Prayer is practicing the Presence of the Father, and it leads a child to a new level of confidence in His desire to listen and look at them with love in His eyes for them.

Don't make excuses for your "I" problem. Talking about your separation from the Father only prolongs the degree and lengthens your distance from Him. Praying puts the turnaround into motion. Prayer enables you to face your Father, and make eye-contact with the one who was watching you all the time you thought you were on your own. Trade your "I will" for
"Thy will" today. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!