Some good friends of mine dropped off their twenty-four-month old son to stay with us for a week while they worked in a youth camp. You can imagine the kind of screaming we expected from this situation. But, when the father introduced us, little Elijah’s face became a glow of wonder as he studied my long gray, nearly white, beard and gray hair. Because of the likeness to a picture in a Bible story book his father had been reading to him, He thought I was Noah. I could see right away that he was gratified to finally meet the man who talked with God and made a big boat to save all the animals. I looked into two believing, crystal blue eyes set in a brilliant white cotton ball of blond hair and just knew I was Noah.
Well, I found out how Paul and Barnabas felt when the people of Lystra were about to do sacrifice to them. Yes sir, for a week, I was Noah the Great. When I got out of his sight, he would call for Noah. When he got up in the morning, he would go through the house calling my new name. When I carried him down to the pond to show him the fish, he uttered one of his rare words, “Boat?” And not a boat in sight. I think he thought the fish and water were leftovers from the flood; he had already observed animals in the yard.
Later that day, he cried when he didn’t get to sit by me at the dinner table. Like a grandfather, spoiling the kids rotten, I rearranged the whole table for him (well, maybe for me).
I didn’t get much cooperation from the rest of the family. On several occasions, I though I was going to have to ring my daughters’ necks for calling me Dad. The kid probably knows that Noah only had sons.
It was great! I got to be a dad for a week. It has been a while. What an opportunity you fathers still have to mold a little fellow into a great man of God. Children are not born with hang-ups, anger, bitterness, or resentment. Such trappings are gleaned from the family in which they are cultured. Neither are they born hard working, kind, considerate, and godly gentlemen. Those character traits are the result of sixteen or eighteen years of conscientious nurturing in the Spirit of God by a pair of loving examples.