Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dad was extravagant

My dad had a taste for the finer things in life.  I grew up in a very upscale house in Chicago on a small lake, and later moved into the same neighborhood of former Chicago Cubs star Billy Williams.  My early childhood brought me incredible experiences like sailing across lake Michigan in a 42 foot yacht, however when I was 12 all that changed when my parents divorced.  Later after the divorce my dad and mom both remarried, and my dad moved across country which meant we saw very little of each other.  He passed away a few years ago, but when I think of him, I am reminded of his extravagance. 

When I was a child I just enjoyed the toys, but later in life when we reconnected his extravagance was still very noticeable.  If dad had a new gadget, he would always proclaim its’ value and tell me how much my life would be enriched if I too had one.  Dad didn’t just talk the talk, but he would always put his money where his mouth was, by buying it for me.  Just the other day I was looking at the 3 by 5 framed Carol Grigg Indian print that is hanging over our couch.  Dad had this print in his house and when he came to visit our new house, he insisted that we too enjoy its’ beauty.  He took us to the art store and bought it and had it framed.  Apparently it was a perfect match for our décor.  Another item that he bought us, although it has lost it’s value in this day of the microwave, was an instant hot water unit that would enable us to have boiling hot water anytime we wanted right out of the tap.  I really didn’t see the need, but dad said I had to have it.  I thought his extravagance was without comparison, until I realized the extravagant nature of my daddy God. 

Extravagance is defined as the absolute best, over the top in luxury, going beyond reasonable limits, excessive, unrestrained, exceeding the bounds of reason, and beyond what is deserved or justified.  Just think of it for a moment.  How many passages of the Bible have we read that include words like abundance, all, beyond measure and many other such adjectives and adverbs?  2 Corinthians 9:8 is one such passage.  It reads, “and God is able to make ALL GRACE abound to you, so that having ALL SUFFICIENCY IN ALL THINGS AT ALL TIMES, you may abound in EVERY GOOD WORK.   God promises that He will meet ALL OUR NEEDS, He tells us that He will open the windows of heaven for us and pour out a blessing that we CANNONT CONTAIN.  God just doesn’t demonstrate His extravagance; it’s who He is.  He’s grace oozes with His extravagance, His love is totally unconditional, it’s over the top, beyond reason, and is far beyond that which is deserved.  In Romans we’re told to renew our minds.  I believe that we need to renew our minds regarding our Heavenly Father.  He’s so totally extravagant by nature, and He’s expecting us to be the same.  When we give it should be extravagant giving, when we forgive it should be extravagant forgiveness, and when we love, it should be with the same extravagant love we have received from our extravagant daddy God.

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