If you know me very well, you know that I have some very interesting dreams. They are mixed with current stresses and realities (I spent a portion of my night last night working on gala follow up calls in my sleep, for example) and past junk. They also involve people from different parts of my life interacting together like they know each other, even if they weren’t alive at the same time. It’s one thing I get from my late father who had the most amazing dreams. Imagine if you lived to be 90 how complex they could be?
Last night I was talking to a former employee in my dream and I was trying my hardest to come up with this joke in the dream, but I could only remember the last line. I hadn’t heard it in a very long time. It is so obscure it took me almost 20 minutes to find it on line so that I could share it with you. It’s one of those jokes with a punch at the end that can be quite convicting.
A man goes to see his Rabbi, and says “Rebbe, my son causes me no end of trouble”, and he lays out a long list of complaints about his son, ending with “I’ve tried to be a good father, but I don’t know what to do.”
The rabbi lets out a long sigh and says to the man “Listen, you have a son, I have a son…” and proceeds to tell the man of all the trials and tribulations that his son has put him through. After this the man leaves, greatly relieved over the relatively minor problems he has had with his own son.
However, after the man leaves the Rabbi is depressed now that he has recalled all the problems his son has put him through, and he begins to pray. “God, my son causes me no end of trouble”, and he lays out a long list of complaints about his son, ending with “I’ve tried to be a good father, but I don’t know what to do.”
Suddenly the Rabbi hears a great sigh and a voice says “Listen, you have a son, I have a son…”
As a teen when I heard this, I thought that the joke ended with God revealing to the Rabbi that He has a son named Jesus. But reading it decades later, that probably wasn’t the point of this Jewish joke :-).
I don’t know about the rest of you but I have learned a lot about God from parenting. Sometimes God is as frustrated with us as we are with our own children… or the children we work. And just as much as we appreciate it when they admit that they need us, or that they are wrong, or that our advice is valuable (wouldn’t that be awesome?), God wants us to come to him admitting our brokenness, acknowledging His wisdom, and confessing our wrongs.