Posted by: Jim E | June 17, 2012

Father’s Day…Some Thoughts…And Some Musings…And Of Course Ramblings…

Father’s Day is a day to think about our fathers…for some that is easy, for others it is more difficult…but this morning I read something that made me think a bit about, not only my Dad…but myself, my boys and being a Dad…I really don’t know what kind of a Dad I have been…I know I tried to be better than I had…because I experienced what I had…and had an idea of what I would do differently…and I realize that I maybe didn’t fail in those areas, at least as badly…but I’m sure there were other areas that I wasn’t aware of that I failed or didn’t do as well as I should have…

I remember so well as I grew up, how my own Dad just was not there…he went to work everyday, one of the things I have to give him credit for…and always respected him for working everyday, even when he didn’t feel like going…he never drove a car, so he had to find a way to work by bus or getting a ride with a fellow worker…it made it hard but he still went everyday…but the problem was he never came home…well, he never came home right after work…he always stopped off at the local beer tavern…and was there until late at night…(which gives you the reason why he may not have felt very well the next day)…so I had that example, and I would never do that in our home…and I know if I missed something our kids were involved in, it would be very few…I can’t remember one…so I was there…and I came home…and I never stopped off at the local beer tavern…

So though my Dad was not perfect, I’m sure I was not either…but I remember some other things that I learned growing up…there was a family in our neighborhood that had lots of kids and lived in basic poverty…the house was, well, lets say you have probably never seen one like that…three rooms and outhouse, very poor…the mother didn’t work outside the home, but worked like a slave inside…I remember my Mom taking food down to them on many occasions…sometimes daily…”Those kids need to eat.”, she used to say…we had food and they didn’t…our kids growing up may have wondered why I never served myself food before the family served themselves first…that came from the situation of our neighbors…he worked, but he spent most of his money on alcohol…but when he was at the table, many times eating food my Mom provided…he filled his plate with as much as he wanted and then the rest of the family got what was left…sometime there was not much left…he always told his family…”I paid for the food and I will eat what I want.”…even as a young as I was, I knew that was wrong and it was never going to happen with me…my family first, me last…others first…JOY, Jesus, Others and You…”What a wonderful way to spell JOY”…so the old Sunday School song goes…

This morning I read, like I always do, Our Daily Bread…a devotional put out by Radio Bible Class…RBC is the name today…Joe Stowell wrote today in part, “…I discovered early in my ministry that my children were not impressed with books I wrote, titles I had, or places I spoke. They craved my time and attention, the provision for basic needs, a love that patiently forgave, and the creation of a safe place for them to grow and mature. It’s a short but very profound list of fatherly duties.” …this certainly is not a complete list of fatherly duties…but it probably touches on most of them…in this devotion he was applying the Lord’s Prayer to Father’s Day…and because not all of us have had a father that took those duties to heart, Stowell was saying that our Heavenly Father is a “stand-in” Father when needed…

One of the things I knew I needed to provide was spiritual training to our four boys…and Judie and I tried to do that from the time she learned she was pregnant…and it continues to this day…you may ask, how is that done…before birth and after they leave home and everywhere in between???…well, we believe in prayer, so we prayed for our kids before birth, after and continue to this day…and “in between”, we provided spiritual training day by day…and it was by day to day living as close to how Jesus would want us to live…were we perfect in that???…heavens, no…we knew it then and we know it now…but that was our intent…spiritual training happens in many homes, even those who have nothing to do with church or the Bible…I see it all the time…I wish they would add some Bible training with it…but they are providing some spiritual training never the less…they may not even know it…

You may ask, since our four boys have been married and have been out of our home for many years now…how do you have input now???…well, to be honest, not much…and frankly, I didn’t expect to have much input, and shouldn’t stick my nose in their affairs after they are “on their own”…and probably at 70 we don’t have the energy we once had to take on situations that younger people have…does that mean we are not involved, no…but at a distance…and we still pray for our kids and grandkids…love and prayer have no boundaries…so we believe in prayer today, as we did years ago…

Let me tell you something I ran across written in the margin of my Bible at Easter time…it tells a bit of how I saw where I was in the late 70’s and early 80’s, in raising our boys and it may tell a little about where we are now…I wrote this next to the Palm Sunday story of Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem…from Luke 19:28-40…Jesus sent his disciples ahead to get transportation…v. 30 “Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. v. 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. v. 32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. v.33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? v. 34 And they said, the Lord hath need of him.”

In the margin beside those verses, I wrote this, v.32-34 The owners heard and knew it was for Jesus and let it go…it was for Jesus…God is touching my life with that truth…God is beginning to touch my sons…I want control of that…it’s hard to put them in God’s hands…But we must be willing to give them…Because the Lord has need of them”…I knew then, early in their lives that I would have to give them up to the Lord and let them go…we had invested our lives in theirs up to that point and would continue for years to come…but we knew the day was close that they would be on their own…not a lot different than happened in our own lives…has it all worked out as we thought it would…well, we didn’t know how it would work out…we still don’t…but we put it the hands of Someone who knows the end from the beginning…He knows, and He’s not telling…so we pray and trust the future to the One Who knows…
A poem I like and have used over the years “Unmapped Miles Ahead” by Joan Rae Mills, says in part…“Creator of our chronology/you who set up seasons/split light from night/walked timelines in both directions/You know what’s waiting.//Hold my hours in Your hands/tug me toward right/tap my shoulder and whisper instructions/Fill my heart with Your directions./I want to walk these days with You.”

So what does all this long and rambling post mean…Oh, I really don’t know…just a Father, on Father’s day…struggling I suppose like most Fathers do on this day…did we do enough…did we do our best…did we love enough…did we provide the basis for them to have good lives…I guess we will never know…but Oh, how much we loved, Judie and I, and still do…how much we intended to “do it all”…and do it right…and we know we missed the mark because we are human…but on this Father Day…we still give them…because the Lord has need of them…Happy Father’s Day…it’s a good day…

 

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Responses

  1. Great read and so truthful! Thank you for sharing!

    • Darlene…yup, life is a challenge…but living it is the fun part…thanks for reading…Jim E

  2. What a great essay! Thanks Jim, and the family pictures are excellent!


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