Thursday, November 12, 2015

The gift of my Father

I was in Cub Scouts - maybe 3rd grade - and I was sitting with my Dad watching a Karate demonstration.  The guy Karate-chopped wood blocks and used his forehead to snap a concrete block and kicked a hole in a watermelon.  That last part might have happened on an old Ginsu knife commercial, but I remember being very impressed by this guy.

At the end of the demonstration the man asked if there were any questions.  With a toothy 3rd-grade grin I leaned up and whispered to my Dad, "I would really like to try Karate-chopping a piece of wood."  

He looked at me half-surprised and urged, "raise your hand and ask him."

For a split-second I shied away from the idea but then my hand shot up and he called on me:

"Can I try Karate-chopping something?"

"Of course," he said and brought out a wood block, motioning me to join him in front of all my friends and their parents.  I got up there and looked back at my Dad with an incredulous look as I half-listened to the guy instructing me on how to do it.  There I was in front of all those people - what if I mess up?  What if I don't break it?  

Well I made it this far - let's do this!

So I made my hand stiff.  Shot a quick look at my dad.  He looked at me with confidence.  I can do this.  I swung my bony arm downward and snapped that piece of wood in half.

I couldn't believe it.  I looked at my hand in disbelief.  I looked at my dad in shock and amusement.  It was like someone turned up the volume on the world as I turned and saw all my friends clapping for me.

Every hand went up in the place wanting to be next!

I think of that story today as I look out at this gloomy November rain and remember the gift that my Dad gave me.  

You can do it - all you have to do is believe in yourself.

And that is the kind of thing our heavenly Father whispers to us if we stop long enough to hear it.  Don't doubt for a minute there is a God who is watching and rooting for you in your life.  Nudging you to raise your hand and take a chance.  

So many times we talk about belief as if it is one-directional from us to God.  You'd be surprised how much you can accomplish when you believe in yourself like He does.

You've made it this far . . . you can do this.

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