6-18-2017 A Father's Day "What if".


June 18, 2017


Father’s Day carries with it a multiplicity of meanings for a multitude of individuals. The experiences children have or have had with their fathers are as varied as there are children. And inversely, the experiences fathers have or have had with their children are as varied as there are fathers. Some good, some bad, some wanting more… others wanting less… and some with no memories what-so-ever.


I thought about this as I sought God’s guidance concerning a message this week. I’m fortunate, my relationship with my father was a good one. We were always close. He taught me responsibility and commitment. Unfortunately, and perhaps even strangely, how I handled that lesson is also one of my greatest regrets. One that I have reflected on numerous times since dad passed.


I developed my love for fishing at my dad’s side and over the years we spent many hours in the boat or wading the river seeking one species of fish or the other. I can’t say we talked a whole lot. I didn’t get a bucket full of verbal ‘pearls of wisdom’ from him that I could pass on to the next generation. But I did obtain a deep appreciation for the passing of skills and integrity from one generation to the next.


In 1988 Connie and I relocated to Ohio due to a job situation. Distance, a heavy work commitment and life in general meant that it was also the last year dad and I fished together. When dad passed, I inherited all his fishing and hunting equipment. It was only then, as I looked through his gear, that I realized that dad had also stopped fishing that year. My greatest regret is that I was so committed to MY ‘now’ I didn’t make more of an effort to spend more time with him as he got older. And oddly, it’s only ‘now’, as I’m getting older, that I realize he needed me more ‘then’ as he could do less.


Life is demanding and this is definitely not a condemnation on anyone who finds themselves on that same path. Maybe what I share just falls under a ‘pearl of wisdom’… or maybe I’ve just gone from preaching to meddling? Time will tell. And yes, sometimes circumstances force us into corners we have no immediate escape from. However, the flip side of this coin is that time goes by so quickly that it can get away from us in a heartbeat… or end on a heartbeat. And, like me, you will find yourself reflecting back and considering the ‘what-ifs’.


Fortunately, none of us has the gift of reversing time. Thankfully! Can you imagine how we might mess things up, that much more, if we could ’do it all again’? All of us though, has the gift of being able to impact the ‘here and now’. By recognizing this, the question then becomes, “What will I do with THIS time?” How will I invest what I have been gifted with at THIS very moment? How can I make a difference in THIS and each generation… past, present and future?


Proverbs 17:6 (NASB)
6 Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the glory of sons is their fathers.


Just a thought from someone whose footprints can be clearly found on the path called ‘what-if’.


Thank You for your faithfulness! Pastor Larry