My net worth = $1.04

My daughter’s love language is gift giving.  As a result,

she’ll take anything she finds and

wrap it in anything she finds and

give it to anyone she finds.

Several years ago, she gave me an unusual gift – wrapped in tissues and sealed with scotch tape.   I couldn’t imagine what was inside.

So, she gives me this gift (as if it was brand new) and is very excited for me to open it. She puts so many layers of scotch tape around it that I basically feel like Houdini trying to get it open.

I asked her why she is giving me a gift for no reason and she says, “Because you are the best Daddy in the whole world.” That’s always an interesting thing to hear.  On one hand, as a Dad – it melts your heart as you recognize how untrue it is.

On the other hand, you realize that she has only ever had YOU as a Dad and therefore her exposure to other Dads is severely limited.

So, as I am opening her gift I am wondering – what do you get the best Daddy in the whole world?   I’m thinking an Ipod, rims for my 1989 Honda Accord or a Lowes gift card would be close.  The wrapped tissue gift doesn’t feel like any of these.  I finally break through the hermetically sealed tissue to find a bunch of pennies – exactly 104 of them.

THAT’S IT??   THAT’S what you get the best Dad in the world??  $1.04?   Wow.  I wonder what you get the worst Dad?  But of course, I can’t react like that because her entire self-esteem hangs on my reaction. I can lift her spirits above the clouds or place them under my feet all by that split second – knee jerk response to her gift.  Naturally, I act like a Junior High girl who just met Justin Beiber while winning the Powerball Lottery.

After the excited squeal and obligatory hug, I politely tell her that I don’t want her money – I would rather she keep it.   She then asks with all sincerity – “Well, what can I get you?”

I answered, “What I really want – is for you to listen to me.”

And then it hit me.

That’s all God really wants from us.

He doesn’t want our money. He doesn’t want our long prayers or fancy clothes on Sunday or all our good deeds done for all the wrong reasons.  He doesn’t want us putting ashes on our head one day a year and giving up ridiculous things for 40 days as if we are trying to prove something.

He simply wants us to listen… to Him… daily.  In a word: Obedience

I Samuel 15:22 – “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”

Now I know why most people give God so much in their church offering plate eachSunday.

It’s easier than giving Him a “Yes Sir” and doing what He says.

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About Rod Arters

As a former youth worker, business owner, school teacher, coach and inmate, Rod has the unique ability to relate to almost anyone in whatever situation they are in. His thought-provoking blog about life, mistakes, faith, hope & grace has been read in over 175 countries. A popular writer & speaker, Rod draws from his deep well of biblical knowledge and personal pain to encourage others along the broken journey to wholeness. He hosts an invitation-only private Facebook group for men (called the Man Cave) and enjoys helping others find Hope in the midst of their painful situations. He currently resides in Columbia, SC.
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