Lesson from Dad
I disappointed my Dad...and I hated disappointing my Dad.
But don’t we learn a lot about life and what is expected out of us by what disappoints our dads? Well that’s what happened this day and I’ll never forget it.
Senior year of high school was about to start and I was fresh off a week at Falls Creek Church Camp. It’s one of the largest church camps in the country with over 5,000 kids from churches all across Oklahoma and the mid-west attending each week of the summer. Before James Lankford was a US Senator, he ran Falls Creek.
I had a wonderful experience at Falls Creek each summer of high school but there was one incident that I knew I should tell my dad about but I really didn’t want to. I was afraid of his response.
After a few days of being home I finally mustered up the courage.
“Hey Dad” I started off. I waited until there was a commercial break from whatever show we were watching that evening in the living room.
“They asked me to pray at Falls Creek.”
“Oh yeah?’ he asked inquisitively.
“But I didn’t do it.”
I proceeded to tell my Dad how they always asked a student to come up after worship to pray...in front of all 5,000 people!
James Lankford was and is friends with my youth minister, Gary Davis, so he asked Gary to ask someone in our youth group. And he asked me, of all people.
It was in the middle of the worship set when he pulled me aside. I remember Gary stepping over chairs to get to me. I had no idea what was coming. As soon as he asked me, I froze. I was a deer in headlights. I was picturing myself up on the stage in front of all those people and it was terrifying.
It made sense why Gary asked me. I was somewhat of a leader in the youth group, I was serious about my faith, and I was a pretty friendly guy who wasn’t scared to talk to people.
But what many people didn’t know was that I lacked courage….and the wrong perception of prayer. And this question of asking me to pray in front of everyone was exposing that. You’d think I would have been able to fake it and just get up there and do it. But it was too much.
I simply told Gary that I didn’t want to do it.
It put him in a bad spot because he had to find someone and quick. The song was coming to an end!
He found my friend Jacelyn. I remember watching her pray as 5,000 heads bowed. I admired her for her courage and also ashamed that it wasn’t me up there.
So there I was telling my dad that story (more or less).
I wasn’t 100% sure what his response would be, but let’s just say I got the response I thought I would get.
I could see it in my dad’s eyes and in his face. He looked away for a quick second before looking back at me and saying.
“Oh Blake.” (when he said this you knew he was disappointed.)
“When you pray you are just talking to God, it doesn’t matter if it’s just you or if it’s thousands of people listening. Just talk to Him.”
I’ll never forget those words. I’ll never forget that disappointment.
And it changed me. You could say it corrected me and my thinking.
In the 20 years since, I’ve had the joy and the pleasure of talking to God, just me and Him, in front of hundreds and thousands of people since then.
I hated disappointing my father that day but I would never take it back. My dad’s disappointment is just what I needed.