The Blase kids needed some clothes - jeans, socks, those kinds of things. So we ventured out on a Thursday evening to that mecca of commerce, the mall. Let me add here that shopping at the mall on a Thursday evening was just on the outskirts of bliss (aka, not hardly a soul in there but us). We went in knowing what they needed and found what they needed, plus a couple of things they wanted, on sale, glory be. After each swipe of the debit card, a gentle refrain was heard: thanks, Dad. Ah, gratitude...music to thy father's, who art paying for all this, big hairy ears. Do those two words always dance in the air after such transactions? Nope. Will it always happen from here on out with nary a slip? I doubt it. But it happened last night, it happened once...so I believe it can happen again.
Now, I'd buy my kids those things whether they said thanks, Dad or not. I believe the Good Father's like that and I'm trying to be more like him. Even though his ways are not my ways, I've got some hunches as to how he operates: love regardless of response. Still, those two words - thanks, Dad - made a difference last night, not so much to me as they did to time. Those two words, including the glorious comma, took the Blase clan primarily out of chronos, clock-time, and set us down gingerly in kairos, real time, God's time...or as I like to say - good time. Good time was had by all due to the sound of a gentle refrain.
Now the trick, and I use that word intentionally 'cause I sorta believe that's what it is, is to learn to say thanks, Dad when you don't get what you want, when its not on sale, and when the crowds are best described by the biblical word legion. We, you and I, have the power to trick time with gratitude. I can already hear someone cry 'but dear John, I cannot feign gratitude, I've got to be authentic, I've gotta be real!' Behold, if you and I are not authentically grateful, guess who already knows? Yeah, so please lose the Jerseylicious drama. I'm not talking about feigning anything, but rather tricking something, something that has the power to affect not only ourselves but the mall crowds around us - time. I'm trying to learn to say thanks, Dad regardless, because that's how he loves - regardless. Like whacky old Paul I have not arrived yet, and like tender old McKuen I've got miles to go, but I'm straining on, trying to learn to sing regardless of the whether...
Temporary lay offs - thanks, Dad
Easy credit rip offs - thanks, Dad
Scratchin' and survivin' - thanks, Dad
Hanging in a chow line - thanks, Dad
Ain't we lucky we got 'em...good times.