I have learned a lot of valuable lessons in my life. Some of the best came the hard way. But one of the best lessons I’ve learned is being right is not always RIGHT! Prioritize relationship over opinions!
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1
When You Thought You Were Right
Let me explain. As a kid, the only thing I ever really excelled at was baseball. Baseball taught me about competition and to be part of a team. It taught me math by calculating the averages of my favorite players, and when I had a son, it taught me what it meant to win at what matters most.
From the day my son Joey was born, I couldn’t wait to get him in the backyard and teach him the game I loved. When he was very young, I would take him in the backyard and play catch with him. Now my son’s gifts are numerous, but just not in the area of baseball. But I wasn’t going to quit. When he was around 6, I took him to the backyard to play some ball. This time I decided to up the ante and make a deal with him. The deal was that if he hit the ball over my head, I would buy him the big Pirate Lego ship that he wanted. It was beautiful and expensive! But I wanted him to be motivated so he would hit it over my head. Unfortunately, he never did…Or did he?
For years my son swore he hit that ball over my head. I disagreed. Regardless, it bothered him because he thought that I reneged on the deal. When Joey was 24 years old, he took a job in Florida. So in November 2013, we drove from New Jersey to Jacksonville, Florida, in record time as I remember.
During our time in the car, we had several conversations, most good. But there were a few that told me that there existed some tension between us. Once we arrived, we needed to get him settled in his new apartment, so our first stop was the local Walmart. As we shopped for cleaning supplies and various other odds & ends, I happened to pass through the Lego aisle. As I stood in front of the new version of the Pirate Lego ship, I felt the Holy Spirit’s tugging and realized that it very well may be the Lego ship that was creating a wedge between my firstborn son and me.
And Maybe You Were Right But You Prioritized Relationship Over Opinions
I decided that it was time I did something about it: I flew home, and the very next day, my first stop was Walmart. I purchased that Pirate Ship, wrapped it, wrote out a card, and waited for Christmas.
So when he came home for Christmas, I couldn’t wait to give him this special gift. After all the gifts were given out, I told Joey I had one more for him, but before he opened it, he needed to read the card I had written for him. It said simply:
This is long overdue, and for that, I am sorry. Please accept this, late as it may be, for the continual home runs you are hitting in your life.
– Love Dad
Doing The Right Thing
The look on his face told the story. After reading the note, he said he knew what the gift was. That day we spent Christmas at my brother in law Timmy’s house. Timmy asked Joey what he got for Christmas. Joey put his arm around me and told Timmy that “my dad never has to buy me another gift.” That meant the world to me!
Now I genuinely believe that he never hit a ball over my head! But what mattered was that my son believed he did. I felt I was right, but more importantly, so did he, and it was causing some friction between us.
Therefore, his right trumped mine!
Listen, no matter how bad you screw up, and no matter how many years have passed, you can always do something about your mistakes. Even if the person you go back to fails to forgive you, you will be released. I am so thankful that I righted a right, and I believe that Joey and I are better for it! It’s never too late!
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