A Walk Around the Block
So, I don't know that anyone even still checks to see if I blog (other than my wife)...but I think it still posts as a Note on Facebook. But, here's one for those who do:
So, today is Father's Day. So, naturally, the sermon at church was about fathers. I did appreciate the leaving out of the "Honor your Father" stuff. That's expected every Father's Day. And, while you can't get away with NOT doing a Father's Day message, this was at least a message to (and partially about) fathers.
Many different things jumped out at me: Cute stories, great statistics, those types of things. I like how Ryan, our lead minister, showed both sides. There was the letter he read from a 3rd grader to her daddy about how she loved him, thanked him for playing ball, games, and spending time with her. That was followed with a letter from another girl in the same school class 4 seats away, a letter who's author also told her daddy how much she loved him. But then she talked about how she missed him, wondered what his house looked like, if he had ever seen her house.
No sugar coating stories, just real life, real facts. I love how much REAL stories show truth and opportunity.
The part of the message that stuck with me the most was part about the track relay team who had difficulties handing off the baton, and how fathers hand the baton down, and it's passed down generation to generation. It brought back a memory to me:
Just before I went off to college at Abilene Christian University, only a week or two before leaving town to start my own life, my dad and I took a walk around the block on a warm August night.
Now, my memory isn't the greatest, but I think I remember Mom telling me Dad was taking a walk around the block. So, I waited at the door to see when he would pass by our house. When he did, I asked if he was going to keep going, and if I could join him.
So, we walked around the block talking, listening, enjoying the night. He talked of work. I remember it being a transition time, and Dad was searching for the right path to take. But it wasn't just a spilling of information. I was being considered "on level" for the conversation, not a father talking to his young son. Since I was only 18, I didn't really have much input. But I enjoyed the feeling, the atmosphere of the conversation.
I don't remember if it was near the beginning, middle, or end of the walk. But I remember Dad saying that he wasn't sure how good of a father he had been, but that, "when you were born, I decided that I wanted to do better than my dad did. My hope is that I did, and that you will do better than me, and that your son will do better than you. And, God willing, one of these days we will get it right."
(A great example of this is when Dad and I went out on our sailboat when I was in 7th grade. Out in the middle of Kentucky Lake, on a Saturday morning, Dad stopped the boat, brought down the sails, dropped anchor, and said, "Nathan, I don't want to do this, and I'm pretty sure you don't either. But all my dad did was throw books at me and say, 'Let me know if you have any questions,' and I want better than that for you. And I think from here," he looked out at the shore far away, "neither of us can swim that far." And we proceeded to have our Birds and the Bees talk!)
As any son can say, we didn't have enough of these moments. But I can only say:
I hope that I can do better than my dad, and that my son will do better than me, and his son will do better than him. And, God-willing, one of these days, we will get it right.
P.S. If you are a member of the Reidland Church family, and you missed Terrell's message (really, GOD'S message) last week, June 14, PLEASE get a copy. It was great...and more importantly, true! Thanks Terrell for being a willing messenger!