Listen to Thought For The Day on BBC Radio Ulster.

Author Bryan Chapell, tells the story of first time father Michael Bryson. Michael’s wife had just gone back to work after maternity leave and so Michael decided to surprise ‘The World’s Best Mum’ by calling unexpectedly at the hospital where she worked, along with their 6 month old son Jason.

That worked a treat. Returning to pack his car with the balloons & flowers wasn’t as much fun, but Michael did his best, balancing the baby carrier on the roof of the car while arranging everything inside and heading home.

Imagine his surprise when other drivers began to honk their horns and flash their lights. How nice of them to share his fun with a car full of balloons, when all of a sudden he heard a scraping sound across the top of his car and watch with horror through his rearview mirror the baby seat, still holding Jason, sliding off the roof, bounce on the boot, drop to the ground and begin to ricochet down the road, as the vehicle behind screeched to a halt just in time to shield the carrier from the oncoming traffic.

Michael slammed on his breaks. He ran back as hard as he could to discover to his amazement and relief that the seat had more than fulfilled its function & his precious baby boy was safe and sound! As waves of fear, guilt and relief hit him, the new daddy began to sob uncontrollably while holding his son in tight embrace.

There’s no parent who can’t identify with even a little of that story. But please don’t attempt to try this at home! Given the awesome responsibility of caring for our children physically, spiritually and emotionally it’s a wonder any of them survive at all, for we often mess things up and feel we have lost any right ever to be trusted again:- but good parenting means not giving up even when we’ve made mistakes and good parenting recognizes it’s never too late to start. In the Bible, God is described as the perfect loving Heavenly Father. “Even as a Father has compassion upon His children, so the Lord” we read in Psalm 103, “has unending loving kindness toward those who deeply respect Him.”

First time dad Michael’s uncontrollable tears didn’t stop a passing policeman from issuing the poor man a caution nor from a local newspaper publishing that story. I have no idea what ‘The World’s Best Mum’ had to say to her trying husband when she got home from work that evening, but thankfully neither is there any record of her being arrested for manslaughter!

Good morning!