As a little girl one of my joys was going on farm calls with my veterinarian father. I would ride around in the passenger seat of the vet truck, rumbling along country roads and asking Dad questions. Once at the farm, Dad would put on his rubber farm boots, and I’d don a matching mini black rubber pair. We’d greet the farmer, get supplies out of the truck and then I’d traipse two steps behind him into the barn. I was proud of my ability to watch him perform surgeries without flinching, proud to be able to be his assistant. A farmer once asked me if I would be a vet when I grew up. Although my instant response was, “No, and I’m not gonna marry one either,” the truth was that I was proud of my dad, and proud to be part of what he was doing. It was important, and I felt important being by his side.
Twenty or so years later, on what would have been my dad’s 59th birthday, I caught myself reflecting on the pride and security I received from my dad as a child. The memories are the only thing I still have. But this day I realized I had also been given a powerful picture of what relationship with my heavenly dad can do.
I often feel like a child, no special skills or plans. But my dad continues to invite me to climb up into his vehicle and go for an adventure. Every day I have the opportunity to put on my work boots and mirror what I see my father doing. I am the assistant in something that is way beyond my education, ability and comprehension. None of that is important. What matters is that I am with my dad, and he wants me with him.
It’s an amazing thing – the power of identity and security a child receives from a good dad. Sometimes I forget who I am, and I forget who my Dad is. I forget that He wants me with Him. I feel very unimportant and forget where my value comes from. I’m thankful for days of remembering. I’m thankful for dads who share their important tasks with unskilled kids. I’m thankful for my farm-call dad, and thankful that I will never need to spend a day without that value and security.