Back to school

Ron Gant

Me with former Atlanta Brave great and current Good Day Atlanta co-anchor, Ron Gant

“I can’t believe it…I was ON TV! Did you see me? I’m a natural!” – Mike Wazowski. Monsters, Inc.

I’m a television star.

Well, not really. Not even close.

But I did make a brief appearance on a local TV news program this morning.

You can watch it here:

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/21782866/fathers-take-time-off-work-to-teach-kids-in-class

I try to spend as much time at my daughter’s school as I can. I eat lunch with her every week. I volunteer at major school functions. Not because I’m a great dad, but because I really just want to be where she is. So when the opportunity arose to participate in a volunteer mentoring program, it was an easy decision for me to make.

Spend any amount of time at your kid’s school and a few things will become evident:

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13 prayers for parents

Image courtesy of stock.xchng

Image courtesy of stock.xchng

Prayer is a funny thing. Not funny in the silly way, but in the curious way.

It’s this beautiful, desperate, fulfilling, frustrating mystery in which we have the opportunity – the scriptures teach – to communicate with the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present loving Creator of all things. And yet a lot of people treat it like jiggling pocket change in front of a Coke machine.

You put something in, you get what you want out.

I could be wrong, but I’m reasonably sure that’s not how it’s supposed to work.

Some people never pray. Some pray only when they experience a crisis or suddenly need God to act on their behalf (“Oh, God, help, I forgot to study for this test!” – and they say prayer isn’t allowed in schools). Some people pray all of the time, so much it just becomes more of a running conversation with the Almighty than a formal petition or request.

I’ve had my share of all three scenarios during my journey on the Way with Jesus. I think in times where I don’t pray as much has less to do with a lack of faith as it does a lack of creativity. I get tired of saying the same things over and over again (even if they are real and right and true). But I need prayer. Boy, do I. And I need to pray. I’m a parent, and you can’t get through this being-a-father thing without a heavy reliance on a Higher Power. So over time, I’ve learned to be imaginative, maybe even innovative, in my prayers to God. I doubt this makes God more attentive or willing to answer in my favor than He already is. But it sure makes my prayer life more fresh.

So here, in another installment of 13 lists for 2013, is a list of 13 prayers for parents. (If you’d like, I’d love for you to come up with one or more and add them to the comments section below. Thanks in advance!)

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Sponge

When I was young, time was like water from a garden hose.

Flowing freely, limitless supply.

I could afford to run it all day long.

Play in it, wash with it, drink from it, water the flowers.

I had all the time I needed…

That was then.

Now, time is like water contained in a bucket.

It’s limited, and the portions I choose to drink from, play in, wash in, and water with represent a much larger percentage of the total I have left.

My children are like two sponges dipped in my water bucket.

They soak up time.

The older they get, the smaller the sponge gets, and the less time they soak up.

These sponges are in my hands, for now. The water contained in them all the time I have left with my children.

And I’m going to squeeze out every drop of joy and laughter and truth and goodness I can.

Until the water, the time, is all gone.

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