I Caught Them All

I Caught Them All
by Steven J. Callis

It’s a proud moment for every dad. All three of my children came to the moment in their own respective time, and it was very special each time it happened. I’ve watched other dads enjoy the same kind of moment. What I have discovered over my years of observance is that success is very important to the man standing waist deep in water awaiting that proud moment when his son or daughter gives caution to the wind and leaps with gusto from the side of the pool into his open arms. Success!
I’m not so certain my kids jumped with gusto – probably more with fear and trembling, anxious to end this terrifying ordeal – but they did jump. Interestingly, at home they were like jumping beans! “Kids, stop jumping on the bed.” “Son, don’t jump off the couch, you could get hurt.” “Hey, you kids stop bouncing around in the backseat of the car.”
Then the moment arrives, rules go out the window, and Dad has changed his mind about jumping. But now that he has decided that it’s okay to jump, the kids don’t want to anymore! And it seems that the more dad urges, the more attention is drawn from the bystanders (and byswimmers), which makes the event even more intimidating.
So, why is this moment so important? What difference does it make in the larger scheme of life if junior can or cannot jump off the side of the swimming pool? For me, the significance is in the promise, stated right there in front of God and everybody: “I’ll catch you!” They want to believe me, they really do, but what happens if I don’t make the catch? At this point in their lives, they have not become fully convinced that dad can do absolutely anything. That confidence comes a little later, and seems to be outgrown much too quickly!
What was I saying? I wanted them to know they could count on me to be there when they hit the water. I wanted them to understand that I would do everything in my power to keep them from danger once their feet left the cement. I am glad to say that all three of my kids jumped, and I went three for three in the kid-catching event. Of course, once successful, they needed to jump another 20 or 100 times that day, and I was always there to catch them until they assured me they could do it on their own.
That lesson was not primarily about jumping into a swimming pool. It was a simple lesson that I desired to convey to them about all of life. “You can count on me to be there; I’ll do everything I can to keep you from danger. And sometimes in life, you are going to have to jump. It may be frightening or intimidating, but there are times that staying on the side of the pool is not an option.”
Not only is it my desire and intention to be there for my children, but also to teach them that there is Another One who watches over them with Fatherly care, protection, and provision. Jesus himself declared, “Don’t be anxious about anything. Your heavenly Father will take care of you.” All we have to do is believe and trust Him.

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