In case you missed it, my wife gave birth to our firstborn daughter a few weeks ago.

This was an incredible event and ushered us into a season of celebration and joy. The reasons for such joy, however, may be different than what is expected.

The season is joyful because I still feel connected to God.

Beyond the joy of seeing my firstborn’s face, seeing my wife glow, and all the other joys of parenting lies the great joy still offered to me: knowing God. 

When I started following Jesus many years ago, I was gripped by an enduring truth, a truth that remains to this day-that the greatest experience human beings can experience is in the joy of God’s presence. He is the greatest taste and the highest pleasure the human spirit can enjoy.

And so my morning times these days, though different with a child, remain the same. Even though after waking, I change diapers, feed, and comfort, I continue my beloved tradition of opening the word of God, my heart, and singing prayers and songs of joy and adoration to Jesus. In that place is the atmosphere of highest enjoyment. He encourages me, strengthens me, loves on me, and fills me with his presence and purpose.

And so the task and joy of parenting finds its rightful place in second. 

In as much as other experiences, at one point in my life, fell in line to their rightful place. They are not evil nor bad; nor does it encourage faithlessness or negligence. They are just best enjoyed as second place.

As appetizers are ruined served as a main course, so parenting is as well. My children are not and will never be the anchor where my life revolves around. That position has been eternally taken.

People sometimes ask what the happiest day of my life was. Some would assume the day I got married or the day my daughter was born thus giving her a father. It is not–it was this morning when I was with my own.