I like it when I get a special opportunity to apply something I have written. This was the case yesterday. I began the day writing an article, Prompted by the Holy Spirit to Pray. In the evening I experienced a strong prompting to pray for my children. I was able to cry out to God on their behalf. I offered thanks for my kids and prayed for their holiness and happiness. The prompting came through an unusual source (at least for me) – a movie.
Suzie and I sat down last night to watch the movie, Everybody’s Fine. The movie starred one of my favorite actors, Robert DeNiro. The story is that of a widower who is anticipating a visit from his adult children. One by one they cancel and he embarks on a cross country trip to surprise each of them. He discovers that they all live lives differently than what he had in his mind. It is a stirring movie for most people. For me, it was more than that. It was a spiritual experience that ended with me praying fervently for my adult children.
One of the things that made it hit close to home for me were all of the similarities to my life.
1. The main character’s (DeNiro) name was Frank.
2. Frank had 4 adult children in this order – boy, girl, boy, girl. Just like me.
3. Frank has a heart attack.
4. Frank lived in a different state from all of his kids. In the movie it was New York, Illinois, Colorado and Nevada. I live in Florida while my oldest lives in Texas and the other three live in Kentucky.
Throughout the movie, Frank often sees his children as they were growing up. Kind of like the State Farm commercial where the dad is giving the car keys to his daughter for the first time. He keeps seeing her as a little girl. That commercial always gets me, too. Many times I look at my own children and think of them running around as youngsters.
In the end Frank experiences what he desires more than anything – he and his kids around a table together sharing a meal. I have had some amazing experiences with my kids. Just last week, Cameron took me to see the Oklahoma versus Florida State football game. But nothing compares to simply hearing their voices, listening to their laughter, sharing their burdens and feeling their embraces.
I am a blessed man. As the movie ended, I thanked God for each of them and their families. I prayed that the road ahead for them would be a path that leads to loving God with all they are. No doubt that the Holy Spirit was working inside of me to focus on our Father as I prayed for my own children.