Janet, Andrew and I returned from Williamsburg late yesterday evening after a thirteen hour drive, including a number of stops. We chose not to drive straight through so we made a day of it and even took a different route than we normally do. Andrew was a trooper and found us several detours to avoid traffic delays. All in all, a great day!
For the last several days, I have been spending quite a bit of time with my father-in-law. It’s been very special time. Both my mother and father-in-law have dealt with some health issues and a recent move from their home to a different facility. We have had time to go over the move, catch up on current events and just to relax a little. The truth is that Janet and I both love Williamsburg and I think we will be making more frequent trips there – especially to see the family.
Recently, work has been pretty hectic and even with the elimination of several clients, I still am busy as many hours as I can reasonably work. With the upcoming travel and things that will give Janet and me time to spend quality time with the family, it will be necessary to even get better at time management. Spending time with my in-laws is high on the list. I have known them since I was five years old and now another year has passed marking another Father’s Day. I haven’t had a Dad to celebrate with since I was 25 years old, and that’s difficult to explain to Janet and our own kids – thank God that they all still have fathers to celebrate this special day with. So my father-in-law has played the role of father to me for 35 years now. I am lucky that he loves me and still speaks into my life.
I would be less than honest if I told you that things were always rosy with our own children. Even as adults, there are times that I still do “Dad” things that annoy them. Now I prefer to think of it as “pruning”, but I am sure that they think of it as more than that. And it’s not the way that I prefer to be as a father. But when you love your kids as much as Janet and I do, it’s important to continue to be steady and reliable role models for the family.
Janet and her sisters still experience the same kind of behavior from their folks, – so I guess we are not alone in our desire to continue to speak into the lives of our children. I know that there are still times that I wish I could go to my Dad and ask questions. I know that some of the time I wouldn’t like what he was saying to me, but I have to think that his love for me and his desire for me to be the best I can be would be justification for some of the questions he might ask me.
I don’t know that Janet and I will ever communicate this effectively to our own children. But, hopefully, our children know how much we love them and that Father’s Day, as well as Mother’s Day, are times to recognize the efforts that our parents make on our behalf. This is the same way that God acts with us – and with Him, every day should be Father’s Day.
We don’t always like the things that happen to us, but God has a way of pruning us to make us more Christlike in our behavior. Sometimes I forget that God is not my “friend”, although I do have a relationship with Him. He is my Father – make that Supreme Father. And that means that it is not a peer to peer relationship. Oh, there are times that I think I know as much as He does, just as our children think they have the experience that Janet and I have. But it just isn’t the truth, and there’s nothing that will change that.
Experience and longevity trump just about everything else, especially when you are loved more than you can possibly know. The verse for tonight is from John 15:2, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” This is the way that God acts toward us and also the way that most of us engage with our own children. We desire for them to be the best they can be.
My encouragement this evening is that God will continue to do His work with you, even when it seems distasteful to you. Also, I want to encourage you to continue to speak into the lives of your children, regardless of their ages, and help them to be the best they can be, with the highest standards of the kingdom as their guidepost. My prayer is that you will be aware of God’s desire to speak into your life; and that your kids will be appreciative of your interaction in their lives to continue to develop them as contented, fruitful creatures of God in His kingdom. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…