My oldest son asked for one item from Santa Claus this Christmas. Just one. He climbed up into Jolly Old Saint Nicks lap, looked him dead in the eye, and without a hint of irony said, “I want an umbrella.” To me this was an odd request of a man who can supposedly make your wildest dreams come true. He could have asked for anything, and he lands on an umbrella?
I have a confession. I think umbrellas are stupid. No, it’s a little deeper than that. I think umbrellas are kind of girly. No offense, but in the past if you were a man and I saw you carrying an umbrella I would judge you a little in my heart. So when my son asks for one I was a little hesitant to honor the request. Fortunately my wife does not share my opinion on umbrellas and on Christmas morning my son awoke to many presents, but the one that he held near and dear to his heart was the $5 Superman umbrella laying under the tree. He carried it everywhere for days. He proudly showed it off to anyone that would take the time to listen. He would open and close it with a simple joy that can only be found in the heart of a three-year old.
Then Sunday came. It poured rain on Sunday. I stood in the door way of my house dreading taking the first step out. My son on the other hand could barely contain his excitement as he popped open his umbrella and stepped out into the great adventure that was the walk to the car. It rained all day, and all day my son got to use his umbrella. I got soaking wet.
It was about half way through the day that my opinion on umbrellas changed. Suddenly they were not so girly. I was starting to wish I had asked Santa for one myself. What I once saw as an unnecessary, girly, waste of time I now see as an essential piece of equipment that, when used, can actually turn a rather miserable rain storm into a pleasant little stroll with my son.
I don’t know what 2014 holds for you or me, but here is what I do know. This year I’m not asking God for wealth, health, or happiness. This year I’m climbing up into the Father’s lap, and with out a hint of irony simply asking for his protection from the inevitable storms of life.
I’m asking God for an umbrella.