I remember it like yesterday. I had been planning it for a long time. Mom and dad were stuffing their Bibles into the old computer bag as I carefully watched and waited to spring into action.
Wednesday night prayer meeting was a family tradition, so my performance had to be Oscar-worthy. “I’m not feeling too well, dad,” I said as convincingly as a 14-year-old could. “I want to stay home tonight.” Miraculously, dad bought it! “Okay,” he said. “You can stay. We’ll be back in an hour. Feel better.”
I walked my parents to the door, waved goodbye, and waited until they drove off. I checked and re-checked their parking space, keeping an eye out for dad’s grey Honda. Fifteen minutes was enough, right?
It was time.
The keys to my dad’s 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit in hand, I nervously walked out to the car. I had seen dad drive a stick-shift tons of times. How hard could it be? I turned it on, mimicking dad’s three-point, pre-driving inspection: Rearview mirror? Check. Seatbelt? Check. Seat adjusted? Check.
“Here we go,” I blurted. I inched my way forward down the parking lot, the car shaking so violently that for a moment I thought of turning around.
I trucked on, however, holding up traffic at several stop lights, stalling my way through intersections and finally arriving at our apartment complex with plenty of time to spare.
I Made It!
I made it! Or did I?
To my disbelief, the original parking space was now taken, and I knew I was done for. I ended up parking not one, not two, but a very conspicuous 10 parking spots down!
All hope was lost. Not to be outdone by my eventual demise, I frequently checked the original parking spot which, to my utter dismay, never became vacant.
My parents finally arrived, discovered my transgressions, and the rest is history. I was grounded for a very long time.
Among the many lessons I learned, the greatest is the concept of sonship. The book of Hebrews paints a very insightful picture about sonship:
“Endure hardship as discipline: God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” (Hebrews 12:7)
Have you ever done something that offended God and you felt so embarrassed you feared you somehow lost your place as His son? Have you ever repented for a mistake you’ve made, only to have your guilt convince you that you’ve lost your worth as His daughter?
If so, please refer to my story of deception and lies and remember: I’m still my father’s son. I’ve never stopped being his son. And if my imperfect father still considers me his son, how much more will our perfect Father consider us sons and daughters, regardless of our mistakes?
So claim it! Claim your sonship! Don’t ever forget that you and I have a Father who has seen it all…and yet, miraculously, loves us through it all.