Called Up Higher

By Pastor Joel Sims

Philippians 2:2-8

I’m learning about our Heavenly Father with my youngest son. God loved us so much that He stepped down from His world into ours in the form of Jesus. He walked where we walked, understood our troubles, related to our joys, ate our food, listened to our hearts, and felt our pains. And then… called us up higher.

So often with kids, we want to call them up higher. We see where they need to be. We see who they could be. We see with effort and growth who they could grow into, and so oftentimes we call them up higher without taking the time to step where they step, walk where they walk, and see what they see.

My youngest son enjoys things I don’t naturally enjoy. His brother is a mini version of me. Driven. Passionate. Likes football and lifting weights. Enjoys worship and scripture. Likes privacy. Is messy. Not overly-coordinated, can’t dance, doesn’t like being made fun of, and shuts down when he feels like he disappoints you or himself. Gets pulled into video games when allowed to play them. I get him! I’m like him.

My youngest son likes FUN. Likes conversations. Likes Star Wars and Pokémon. He likes Vans. He likes watching YouTube videos of people opening Pokémon… he doesn’t want privacy. Where you are…there he wants to be. He’s messy (so I get that. Hahaha!) Can dance. Not interested in athletics. Is witty. Wants to be joked with because he’s got a bigger dig in his back pocket…really he’s like John Romick. These things I can’t relate to. I don’t enjoy those hobbies.

For all of my kids…I want to call them up to my world. Let them see things from my eyes and perspective. But I see…especially with my youngest…I need to step into their world. Last night for an hour and a half I watched people open up Pokémon on YouTube. The whole time my son watched me to see if I was watching and enjoyed it. He wants me to have fun WITH HIM. He wants me to see what he sees, and know what he knows, enjoy what he enjoys.

You know what I’m learning? (At least I’m trying to…) Recently, we (me and my youngest) competed in our first Pokémon tournament (like it’s a real thing…you do it in person…who knew?!?!?) 

But I’ve noticed, the more I step into his world, the less he hesitates to step into mine when I call him up higher. And after all, like Christ is with us, the goal isn’t to make my kids successful (I’m confident they will be). The goal is that where I am, they are too. That my kids want to be at my table. Even if it means I have to sit at their Pokémon table. (Grace me, Lord!!)

Parenting is not easy. But the joy of the embrace, the joy of the smile, the joy of sharing something. Even pain. Well, it’s worth everything. Learn that God isn’t just calling you to His table. He stepped down to yours. He gets you. He made himself of no reputation. His goal is not just to make you successful, His goal is that, where He is you may be as well.

We aren’t perfect but He loves us. You might not be a perfect parent–I know I’m not. But by His grace, we are growing, and know today, I celebrate that in you. And I know the Heavenly Father does too!

October 1, 2023