Monday, February 10, 2020

"I Just Want My Dad"

Mark 3.13-15 NRSV

“He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons.”

“The kid hated needles. But it hardly mattered. About once a week he'd roll up his sleeve, expose his shoulder and feel the cold metal plunge into what little muscle he had there. He would scrunch up his face as if he had smelled something foul and often close his eyes until the contents of the syringe emptied into his bloodstream. Then he could return to his PlayStation 2.” [1]

Corey Gahan was a twelve year old boy who loved in-line skating. His father put him on a regimen of steroids and human growth hormones (HgH). The performance enhancing drugs had their desired effect. Corey, 5’ 5” tall at the time, went from one hundred and twenty pounds to one hundred and sixty in the first year. At fifteen Corey was a “national champion at 500, 1,000 and 1,500 meters,” His times shattered previous U.S. Indoor Speedskating records. Shortly after his thirteenth birthday, the boy was tested and found to have twenty times the normal testosterone level of an adult male. Corey’s dad served a six year term in Federal Prison. At age eighteen, when the story broke, Corey was fifteen pounds lighter than he was at fifteen years old. He is a victim of a lost childhood and suffers remorse for…

  • cooperating with investigators who forced his father’s guilty plea landing him in jail.
  • agreeing with his dad to use drugs even though “I knew I was doing something wrong.” 
  • surrendering his winning records after being suspended from the sport he loved.
  • sacrificing his mental balance for drugs that “turn you… into a monster.”
  • losing the opportunity to prove himself a champion without performance enhancers.

Jesus had expectations of His disciples. He sent them out to “proclaim the message” and “cast out demons.” They were to perform in the arena of faith and crush the demonic competition for the souls of men and women. But it was not all about winning with Jesus and it’s not all about winning with our Father God. Jesus called “those whom he wanted.” We are “wanted” whether we win or not. He “appointed twelve… to be with him.” We are called by Jesus “to be with him.” You and I are among “those whom he wanted… to be with.” It’s about relationship, not performance. A loving and caring relationship is more important to a good father than breaking records or winning notoriety.

Corey wanted to win. But that wasn’t all he wanted, or even what he wanted most. At thirteen he could not have told you that what he really desired was a relationship with his father. Corey now reflects, “We had our bouts because I very much wanted a dad and he wanted a business relationship. At a young age it’s hard to understand why winning all the time matters so much.”

What a joy to know that God the Father sent Jesus to earth so we may be counted among “those whom he wanted… to be with.” It feels good to be wanted.

[1] “Sins of a Father,” Sports Illustrated, January 21, 2008 edition.


Anonymous said...

Wow, This is a hard thing to imagine. what kind of father would do something like this to his boy? Dad, Thanks for never making me take shots of hgh, even though they may have helped me perform better on the field. You have always encouraged me to perform, but always led me in the right direction. Judging by this article, dads have done a lot worse things than you ever did to me; with the exception of making me use that push mower!!
-Eric Scriven

davescriven said...

Hi Eric,

You were always the best son a dad could ever hope for. I am so proud of you for remaining drug-free in your athletic pursuits. I loved every single minute I watched you on the baseball field, the basketball court, and the football field for the past 20 years. It was such a joy to see you develop as a first-class athlete. You are an outstanding man and I could not be more proud. I love you, son.