Yesterday, after work, I was exhausted. I’m not sure why, but I was too tired to function, and desperately needed a nap. So, I took a nap. A long, peaceful, glorious nap!
There was just one problem. I had promised Shaun that the two of us would swim after I finished work. By the time I awoke, there wasn’t much time left in the day for swimming, but I threw on my swim trunks anyway.
When I called Shaun down from his room, he came bounding down the stairs wearing a great big smile, and his swim trunks. He was ready. He had no doubt that we would swim together.
Shaun trusts me to keep my word to him!
That is one of the most beautiful sentences I could ever hope to write. He knew that when I awoke, there would be swimming. He trusted me because I have established a track record with him for keeping my word.
How could any dad ask for more?
Now, here’s the funny part of last night’s story. We swam for only around twenty minutes because our plan was to catch a movie at the drive-in movie theater. So, after Shaun and I had dried off, we piled up in my car, and the three of us were off to the movies.
There was only one problem. The drive-in theater was closed last night. So, when we pulled up to the locked gate, my heart sank. By this time it was too late to catch a movie at a regular theater. I felt those all-too-familiar pangs of having let down a child. That voice inside my head, the one that likes to hurl accusations at me, started to tell me what a failure I was.
Soon though, that inner voice was drown out. Laughter was filling our car. Sure, Shaun was disappointed, but he and Amanda quickly made alternative plans to see the movie tonight while I’m out of town. Then, more plans… a trip to Shaun’s favorite restaurant, Arby’s!
The night was saved, and so was my spirit. As we sat enjoying our meals, there was plenty of laughter. Also, good conversation about Shaun’s first day of fourth grade, which is today.
When we had said our goodnights, Shaun’s trust in me was still in tact. My failed attempt at a movie on his last night of summer may have been a flop, yet my efforts were a success.
The trust Shaun has for me is the result of over three years of knowing me. Last night is but one of several examples of times my plans have failed. Each serves as a reminder of the fact that I am far from perfect.
Yet Shaun doesn’t demand perfection. All he seems to ask of me is consistent effort. As long as I give it my best effort, being there when I say I will be there, and treating him with respect, trust flourishes.
I can learn a lot from Shaun. When I place my trust in someone, I need to remember that perfection is not a prerequisite for trust. After all, if it were, I would not be able to trust anyone. Not even God, because from my perspective, there are times when it feels as though He is absent.
Whether I am placing my trust in God, or in another person, all I really need to have is a consistent track record. Reflecting on that record from past experiences, I can look at my present situation with confidence, knowing that I can practice trust.
I am grateful for the program of Narcotics Anonymous, and for its emphasis on the continual practice of spiritual principles. Through it, I have not only learned to trust others once again, but I have also become trustworthy. Even to a very discerning ten year old.
Have a remarkable day!