Last Saturday, the day before Father’s Day, I pulled off one of my best Dad capers. I love surprises and I love to surprise people, so when I discovered late Friday night that U2 had not one, but two shows last weekend at Angel stadium, it was all I could do not to launch into action.
Joseph, my oldest son, who will be fifteen this week is quite a good guitar player who loves U2. He’s also 6’1″ (three inches taller than me), but this post isn’t about jealousy. Anyway, Joseph and I had plans two years ago to go to the U2 concert at the Rose Bowl, but had to cancel because of Joseph’s swine flu (and Bono’s neck surgery).
I had actually been at the Christians in Visual Arts (CIVA) biennial conference with my daughter Janae. I heard U2 was in town, but I shrugged it off because of the conference. But since I had planned on coming home on Saturday night because of Father’s Day plans, a light went off in my head that said, “U2? U2? U2!!!”
I called home and got ground-control financial flight clearance from Krista for the purchase of U2 take-off tickets. A definitive dent in college savings, but hey, the story of the Prodigal Son is really the story of the Extravagant Father. ‘Prodigal’ really does mean ‘extravagant’ and ‘lavish’. Later, I called Joseph and told him that I was coming home with Janae and that I needed him to go back to Biola University with me to put away tables at the conference. He was a bit ticked off, asking why couldn’t Janae do it? (Parents, sound familiar?) I relayed that Janae’s recent shoulder surgery excused her from table-hauling responsibilities.
On our drive back up to Biola, Joseph didn’t even notice that I pulled onto the 57 Fwy. We had a short talk about our recent bible study in Proverbs and how Proverbs is an excellent book for developing a vision of what it means to live well. Earlier, I sneaked a bag containing a small pair of binoculars and printed copies of our tickets into the glove box.
As the giant “A” of Angel stadium loomed closer and closer in the distance, I looked at Joseph and said, “Well, for where we’re going, you’re going to need good vision.” I told him to open the glove box. Not seeing the tickets, he pulled out the binoculars and as he later said, “I was thinking ‘binoculars?’ Hauling tables and binoculars. That’s great dad.”
“Look in the bag again,” I said.
Joseph reached into the bag. He pulled out the paper and read it.
His eyes widened as big as landing lights.
Questions: When was the last time someone surprised you? When was the last time you surprised someone else? How often do we forget that our God is absolutely extravagant and lavish with His love for us? How has God recently shown His lavish love for you?