Sunday, June 16, 2013
Father's Day 2013
My father was a good man. He was not a perfect man. He was private, quiet, unable because of his own childhood to really teach and model for his children how to live. By the time I reached an impressionable age, as I look back, he was already caught in a struggle for survival as choices in his career path led us away from security into struggle.
We moved alot for his work because his work was suffering from economic reality. He became a traveling salesman for all of my Junior and Senior High Years in order to help us survive financially. Not the best choice for a strong family. But we made it, and my parents loved each other, and they made it to a meager but authentic retirement, and, as with all flesh, to the grave. I loved them and the life they were able to give me.
Father's Day for the last 8 years has taken on a new meaning for me, when I realized that a quest that began in 2001 found its conclusions in a rediscovery of Fathers love for the world.
I began to spend Father's Day at Father's Day Conferences, where I began to question my views of God the Father that I had been taught not by my own Father,but by my Calvinist Theological training. It was a long journey that led me to the confession that I loved Jesus and was terrified by His angry Father.
The realization that Jesus came to restore a proper image of His Father, sent by His Father, sent to turn the false views that had captured Isreal, and to set us on a new covenant path of walking in Father's love and reconciliation was for me the beginning of an inner revolution that I enjoy to this very moment.
Proclaiming Father's love for the world and the implications of that love will fuel the rest of my journey to an authentic retirement and, as with all flesh, to the grave, will help my own children whom have seen an imperfect man struggle with the choices of his own career, even though it was a career of ministry and service.
I am on vacation and not leading services this morning, and I thought about visiting a local mega church up the street, until their website advertised the sermon entitled, "What Thor teaches about fatherhood?". The fact that this church feels the need to refer to a norse mythological god and a popular movie to talk about Father is a sad testimony to what we have lost.
Last time I had a Sunday off I attended another mega church that has a better reputation for Christ centered preaching and mission and though I was impressed, I was only a visitor and there is no place for me there. I must bring this vision of the Father's love for all the lost sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. It must flow through me and around me and to others, so that some restoration of truth take place in a culture badly damaged by a theology of separation and superiority, rather than reconciliation and forgiveness.
I loved my father and the life he was able to give us, and until I enter the mystery of God's all in all I will continue to grow in that knowledge and pray it affects the content of my character.
Come with me back to the Bible belt as I visit the old south and see family and friends, I can go back to that beautiful south, but I can never go back to the way I was, I have been not whistling dixie for too long.