A running joke with my dad and me is that I'm the most intrusive intern his church has ever hired.
At least once a week, he walks into the hall and dramatically announces to the closest staff members that "we've got to do something about this intern" who's always in his office or inviting herself into his conversations or demanding he take her to lunch, etc. etc.
He's kidding, of course, but the brief looks of surprise on the faces of those I work shoulder-to-shoulder with everyday when I go barging through the senior pastor's door or pipe up to offer him unsolicited opinions — "Sometimes I just forget that he's, you know, your dad," one coworker laughed sheepishly last week — are hilarious reminders that my relationship to the boss changes everything.
I work for my dad, technically, yes; but our primary relationship is not employer/employee. It would be weird if I asked my dad if he had lunch plans and he was like, "Sorry, I don't really have room on my calendar for lunch with an intern," right? Wouldn't it be bizarre if I walked into his office and he hit me with a thousand-mile stare and asked if I'd made an appointment?
I'm an employee of Kingsland Baptist Church, but way above and beyond that, I'm just Ryan Rush's daughter. And that's the relationship that takes precedence.
This past weekend was Kingsland's annual I Believe conference, a weekend retreat for middle and high school girls.
The theme was prayer, and I had the privilege of leading alongside some of my favorite women in the whole world; sitting through some incredible speakers and teaching teenage girls just to talk to God. (And marveling at how many chips they could consume. And trying to keep my eyes open while they had a dance party at one in the morning. I'm tired. It's fine.)
At one point during worship on Friday night, a girl approached me and asked if I would pray over her.
"MY LIFE IS A MESS," she yelled over the music. "I WANT TO TALK TO GOD, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY TO HIM."
So I hugged her and started talking for her. We arrived at amen, still straining to be heard over the band, and she thanked me, looking relieved.
"OF COURSE," I answered. "BUT YOU CAN DO THAT, TOO, YOU KNOW."
"YOU'RE HIS DAUGHTER."
And being his daughter changes everything.
If I need to talk to my dad, you know what I do?
I walk into his office.
There's no fear or formality to it. I may be an intern, but I also have status and access that not even executive pastoral staff does.
I can walk down the hall and straight through his door anytime I want. I have the corner market on lunch meetings with him. I can call him anytime, for any reason.
Because I'm his daughter.
I don't get to barge into his office anytime I want because I'm such a stellar employee (although I do try). I get to barge into his office anytime I want because I'm his kid, and that gives me permission. I'm welcome — even wanted — there.
Despite broken examples of bad or no dads for many people out there, I know, God is a perfect Father who loves and likes his kids. And if you, like me, really believe him to be real and the Bible to be true, then that's exactly what you are.
Prayer is talking to your dad. Don't let the fact that he's also the King of Kings stop you from just banging the door on open and walking in.
Ask him your questions.
Ask him to take you to lunch.
Because you're his kid.
And that changes everything.