Once again, it’s Father’s Day. It’s been a somewhat strange week and I have actually gone back and read some of my posts from prior years on the topic – it’s been a part of my remembering years past, which is something I have been prone to do this year. Last Thursday, my brother, Doug, and I contacted the cemetery where our parents are buried in the hopes of gathering information about opening another grave to place the remains of our youngest brother, Ken. It seems that as the various holidays roll around, and this is the first year without Ken being with us, I have been drawn to think even more about Mom and Dad.
What Doug and I found was a little disturbing. It seems that some of the trees that we planted when Dad died back in 1978 have become unruly and overgrown. Although we were promised that things would be maintained, it seems that the cemetery has either forgotten or misplaced the arrangement we had and now there is potential damage to the family monument and headstones that we will have to address. I find this very unsettling – it has never occurred to me that we would have to face this kind of issue to deal with years after the death of our parents.
I have also been thinking that that just maybe Dad spent today with Ken in heaven together. That part of the day was very comforting. Another part of the day that I enjoyed is the time that we spent as a family at Kristin’s house as we celebrated Father’s Day and Kristin’s upcoming birthday within the week.
It strikes me that each year our family gets closer and closer. Our daughter, Jill, and her son, Drew, are now residents of Indiana – having moved from Oklahoma about a year ago. They are now firmly entrenched once again in the family. And each holiday as I look around the room, I am thrilled that all three of our children and all our grandchildren are within ten minutes of our home.
As I looked around the room today, I remembered the history of each person. Now, Janet and I are the oldest generation and it is awesome to be able to recall each person’s life journey so far. I’m proud of how we have grown as a family. We know and respect one another yet we are are far different as people – each with our own strengths and opportunities for improvement. I have mellowed for sure over the years but everyone knows that I am the guy to go to when problems need to be solved. And each person in the family has a special skill that we can call to the front whenever we need it.
As our grandchildren grow, my relationship with them is changing each year. It is exciting to think about what the future will hold. Of course, our kids also continue to evolve and face new challenges as well. We all cover new ground each day… And as I grow closer to retirement, I have more free time to do the things that I enjoy.
One of the things that I am working on is how to shepherd each family member to lead an even more Christ centered life. Each person in the family is a believer but as every Christian knows, we all have a long way to go in growing our relationships with God. The goal is to become more like Christ as we each mature in our knowledge and relationship with the Lord. I hope that, similar to Noah’s family, we may be drawn closer to God and that the Father will see our collective effort to follow His Son.
Our verse for tonight is a short one, from the book of Genesis. Moses, the author, tells us, in Genesis 7:1, “The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.” That should be something that we all strive for. Like the family of Noah, each of our families have issues that fall short of the desires of God. However, my encouragement this evening is that God is a a forgiving, loving God and Noah led his family to be mindful of what God wanted for them. My prayer is that we will all be great leaders of our families and continue to lead them toward more God centered lives so that we recognize each day as our Supreme Father’s Day. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…