I had an amazingly funny, bigger-than-life, Dad. Affectionately known as Big Jim, his giant stature was dwarfed by his big heart and gigantic dreams. He used to invent toys for me. One I can remember vividly was what he called the Ski-a-stake (this was in 1961 before the skate board). He attached roller skates, the old metal kind, to the bottom of water skis. There were two snow ski type poles to complete the set. Inventors run in the Morrison family and my Dad longed for that one great idea. I’m really not sure this toy was for me, but I was the test dummy . . .or should I say crash dummy. I was about 6 or 7 years old and my Dad thought I could do everything and should not ever be afraid of whatever crazy adventure he had designed for me. That list of ‘adventures’ is quite long. I remember vividly, the hill on Ellsworth in Memphis because it is the same hill is where I learned to ride a bike, (another adventure for another day). So, Dad positioned me on top of the hill with these huge water skis strapped to my feet, poles in hand and gave me a push. I need to say, I am not the adventurous type, in fact, even with my ample frame, I was a girly girl at heart. But this was glide or die. I remember being terrified, but managing to remain upright until I reached the bottom of the hill where I fell. It was probably not near the giant hill I remember, but my fear made it gigantic. My precious father, a middle child, was highly competitive with his older brothers and sandwiched between them and his younger brother, born with some physical challenges. My point in this story is that my Dad’s view of a father was filtered through his. Strength and courage, regardless of gender, were necessary for survival and to receive attention. That was his reality. So, my Dad created environments for me to grow in strength and courage. He loved me but I always felt at risk, fearful that in his effort to build character, I might die.
I struggle with fear and trust, as you might well imagine. My father was loving, generous, strong and adventurous. His heart’s desire for me was to be strong and courageous and serve the Lord with my life, however, what I learned and internalized as my truth was that the adults in your life might want the best for you but it is going to hurt. I learned to avoid pain and shy away from ‘adventures’ for myself and my children. I loved my dad, deeply, but I did not trust that his plan for me was not going to kill me.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Says Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean in your own direction. In all your ways acknowledge him, He will direct your path.
My earthly father is the filter through which I perceive my heavenly father, even decades after the experience described here and others like it. It is my default thought and perception. By nature, or nurture, I immediately am fearful of ‘adventures’ and new things. However, I have a heavenly Father who is perfect. My Abba Father, Papa, daddy loves me and wants my complete trust.
So how do I reconcile my faulty perception with God’s truth?
Much like my earthly Dad expected my obedience to his plans, my heavenly father desires my obedience or willingness to lean in his direction, not my own. My own direction is filtered thought my past experience but leaning into His direction requires me to trust that He is who he says, recall other times he has been faithful and evaluate the good he continues to make out of my bad. The beauty he has made from my ashes.
Roman 12:2 tells us to change our behaviors by changing how we think. Satan, of course, wants to keep me trapped in my perception rather than God’s truth. He wants me to believe that God, just like my Dad is going to hurt me if I fully trust him. He is going to strap two wooden boards to my feet and push me down the hill. If, however, I stay trapped in my perception, I will miss what God has planned for me, personally and within the body of Christ. For me this means I must capture my perception and replace it by:
- Reminding myself who God is
- Remembering He love me with a perfect love
- Believe that his perfect love casts out my fears.
- Trusting that His best will not harm me.
- PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
Where are, you believing your old truth, or holding onto your perception rather than trusting your Abba Father, Papa Daddy? I’d love to hear how your overcome them and are replacing them with truth.