Are You My Father?
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”
The other day, I was reading book after book after book with my toddler. We came upon Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman (A Cat in the Hat Book). My daughter loved the book; the pictures, the repetition of the question, “Are you my mother?” as well as the 45 million times I was willing to read it to her. As I read through the book, something profound hit me! I tend to be very much like this little bird. In case you aren’t familiar with the story, I will give you a quick summary.
A little bird hatches from its egg and doesn’t see its mother anywhere in sight. (Mom has gone off to get food for the baby before it pops out of the egg.) While the mother is gone, the baby bird decides to go looking for its mother. It starts off by falling down, down, down and onto the hard ground. (Maybe that should’ve been the first clue not to take matters into its own hands. I’m just saying.) Nevertheless, off baby bird goes in search of his mother.
The baby comes across a kitten, a hen, a dog, a cow, a boat, a plane and a tractor (which he calls ‘a snort’) and asks them, “Are you my mother?” Each time, he leaves disappointed at not finding what he was looking for. In the end, the “Snort” lifts him up and places him back at home in his nest. His mother comes to him, feeds him, wraps her strong, feathered wing around him and she asks him, “Do you know who I am?”
To this, he replies, “Yes, I know who you are. You are not a kitten, a hen, a dog, a cow, a boat or a plane or a Snort. You are a bird and you are my mother.”
As I reflected on this, I was discouraged to see my own actions exposed. I have often been like that baby bird and tried to take matters into my own hands. Maybe I was waiting on God for something, or looking for him in my circumstances but not finding him; always longing for a deep satisfaction but feeling like it wasn’t there. Off I’d go, from one thing to the next, trying to fill that hole. I may come upon a relationship, a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s Crème Brule ice cream, a great pair of shoes, a TV series or a new hobby. Each time asking, “Are you my satisfaction?” And, each time, going away disappointed.
So, when I’m finally at my wit’s end, God consistently puts a “snort” into my life to bring me back to the nest. He fills me up, wraps his arms around me, and asks me, “Do you know who I am?” To this, I bawl as I respond, “Yes, I know who you are. You are not my earthly relationship, you are not my bowl of ice cream, and you are not my great pair of shoes, TV series or new hobby. You are my God and YOU are my satisfaction.”