Saturday, June 16, 2012
Father's Day Gift
With Father's Day upon us, I wanted to offer my gift to fathers and future fathers. Beyond the cards, well wishes, striped ties and prime rib dinners I hope that I can offer you something that will last. Understand you have been given one of the most influential roles on earth. It is a role that can change the course of so many lives and has been ordained by God to be the agent of blessing and power in this world. The message you may be getting is that men, fathers and masculinity are archaic, unnecessary or even worse abusive. This is a lie. You are most under attack because the Enemy knows you are the most powerful.
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
First I offer you to be free from the shaming that permeates the world. We live in a results oriented, critic focused, sound byte world where it is so easy for one to be blamed for things. With that environment comes shame. What's worse is that many of you will attend church where your pastor (with good intentions) will preach a message of what's wrong with dads. It will ring of things such as what we are lacking, what we don't do and why the world is screwed up because of it. It's shame preaching and it may produce a short term change but nothing permanent. It also gives us a more callused heart as we get more obligations piled on us. I say you are free (FREEDOM!!!) from that. Your heart is good. You have a Father who loves you and is proud of you. Let that sink in to the deepest parts of your heart. You are free from the curse so you are free to make mistakes. God knows your heart.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
You have permission to rest. Actually, in the Old Testament you are commanded to rest. We need to recharge and relax. We need time to reconnect with our true Dad. So yes, hit the links, read the book on your front porch, play the Stratocaster (really loud if you'd like), ride the Hog (or in my case the Vmax) on some winding road to nowhere, just take your Father with you. See if you find Him in a thought or an experience. He desires for you to enjoy things and He wants to enhance it with His presence. We sometimes are shamed into feeling guilty enjoying things when in actuality carving a few hours out once in a while is a healing and growing time. If you're having trouble finding what gives you rest, ask the question (it may take several times before you come up with it): "What do I want to do?"
Obi-Wan: "You must learn the ways of the Force if you're to come with me to Alderaan."
You are not alone on this journey in life. Don't live it out in isolation. My prayer is that you have a great dad or mentor who will show you the ropes of life. There seems to be this implied (again shame oriented) view that if you don't know it, you're an idiot if you ask for help. That's a complete lie. We need help, guidance and direction. Seek out someone who will step into that role for you. You deserve it. Also, every man can be Obi-Wan to someone else. In an "iron sharpening iron" sort of way God has placed us in the position to be mentors. If you're a teen, mentor your siblings or that lonely kid down the street. If you are in your twenties, I'm sure that there's a youth group or a street ministry who would love to have you involved. If you're in the "middle" you either have children or there are other children, teens and young adults who desperately need you to fill the role of Obi-Wan. For you mature men please, we need you the most. You have a lifetime of wisdom that will bless any younger male. I know that I am still seeking that mentor.
I'm sure that you may be feeling inadequate for such a role. Understand that you are in process just like the rest of us. You will make mistakes. You may face rejection. That's OK God is much bigger and has your back. He cares more about the process then the results.
James T. Kirk "Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human. "
Finally, I give you the gift of brotherhood. We are not to live this life alone. You need a band of brothers who you can be real with, share with and enjoy the bonds of masculine love. I'm sure this sounds a bit dramatic or even a little weird but we need to break free from the conditioning that isolates us. It is freeing to have others who can listen, care and empathize. We have all been through the ringer and need someone to talk with. We need to be known and accepted. I pray that you find that with a few peers who will walk through life with you. For me, I meet with four co-workers who are also my friends. We talk a lot about what's really going on inside of us. It's so healing. I also have friends from my childhood, college and churches I have attended over the years that I can turn to. I am truly blessed to have this and hope that you will have it to. Having brothers in Christ will get you through so many tough times and will make the good times ever better.
I have given you some fairly abstract gifts. I understand that some of it may seem impossible to attain or just plain idealistic. To that I offer that if you are truly seeking to find any of these gifts and they seem elusive, first read more of this blog as I hope to be addressing this in other articles. Also, you are free to contact me and I'll offer you what I have. I'm far from perfect and most of what I know comes from years of doing life wrong.
Finally, you are not called to go at life alone. You have a Heavenly Father who is actively involved in your life. You are blessed and He is proud of you!
Happy Father's Day!