Father, Son & U2

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?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, snarky or off-topic.

  • Neil

    Joey – What a great surprise for Joe! He is blessed to have you as his father, and vice versa! Your love for God, family & friends is such a gift you bring to all of us. I am truly blessed to be your brother & friend. Cheers to you bro, you make life full of fun and excitement, I am so proud of you!

    • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

      Thank Bro…feeling all your love! Thanks for your kind words!

  • http://freewayhome.wordpress.com/ Luke Reynolds

    I really don’t like U2, but I’m still super jealous of your son. That was awesome.

    • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

      Luke, thanks for your reply. I guess if my son liked polka bands, I’d try to find the best polka concert to take him to. Thanks for your good word!

  • Andrea tilden

    Omgoodness. That was a great story! I love surprising people also and doing special things to make their life great and memorable, you are a great dad.
    Andrea Anderson-Tilden

    • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

      Thanks Andrea for your encouragement…surprising people makes life fun! Just ask my five sisters when I was growing up! Thanks for your post and come again!

  • Teri Massick

    LOVE THIS JOEY! ūüôā So Special – worth EVERY Penny and Joseph will NEVER forget how special and thoughtful your actions were. I SO wanted to go to that show but circumstances didn’t allow this time. I am GLAD you and your son got to enjoy it! It makes me feel better that you got to go! I didn’t have that special father/daughter relationship like that growing up – now that I am older I SEE how important it is, I am SO GLAD you GET IT! Your kids will be and are Blessed! On the other hand I have a HEAVENLY Father that DOES LOVE me like that and I am so grateful! You are probably a big part of that foundation from HS years – your thoughtful nature for others resonates. Thanks!

    • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

      Wow, Teri…your words are so kind.¬† I can hear your voice as you write them. Yes, you would know how much U2 was a special part of our HS years and what a joy to get to share this with our kids. It’s such a privilege and oh so humbling being a dad (or a mom). With these precious lives in our hands, it’s like juggling fine china. Saturday night was a night to sit at the table and feast…thanks so much for writing!

  • Monty Kelso

    This is awesome Joey. You have totally inspired me. Thank you so very much.

    • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

      No Monty…U2…rock!

  • Anonymous

    So good! I love Fathers and Sons having moments like this. Joey, you’re an inspirational Dad and your son will always think so.

    • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

      Thanks Charlie…I’m sure you will have many moments like this in the future…you are a good man and a great dad as well! Love ya!

  • J√ļlia

    Really amazing. This is a true example about how to be a family.Congratulations, I am sure that moments like this will never be forgotten.

    • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

      Thank you Julia…yes, we all need amazing moments that bring our hearts alive. I was so looking forward to seeing how Joseph would respond. I don’t know what’s better: being surprised or pulling off a fun surprise…I think I like the latter better!

  • http://twitter.com/Lemness Lem Usita

    Excellent story. ¬†It’s great to create moments like this. ¬†That was sneaky man. ¬†
    So it’s okay to fabricate a story to create a special moment? ¬†hahaha.¬†

    It’d be great to see Joseph’s response to the story. ¬†Thanks for sharing.¬†

    • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

      Thanks Lem for the read…yes, I definitely bent the truth there to get to a better reality…hanging out as dad and son! Hey, that’s a great idea to have Joseph offer a guest post. It’s his 15th birthday today! Take care my friend!

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