Friday, November 11, 2005

Otters, Lions and ...

I did an assessment tonight about what my perceptions were of what a pastor needs to do the job. Later, I found out that John Trent was behind it. Should have guessed, when I read that I was a Lion, an Otter, and a Golden Retriever.

Now I'm cool with the Lion part. I mean, after all, who wouldn't want to be a Lion. King of beasts and all that (discounting entirely that cowardly lion abberation in the Wizard of Oz). And I have always loved Otters. Watching them, it really seems like God likes them too - they have a great time just being. Except for those seagoing ones that live in the kelp beds, some of whom wind up as shark snacks.

But a Golden Retriever? Please.

If I'm going to be a dog, I want to be a Great Dane.

Folks, I have one - our second, and I can tell you there's nothing like a Dane. Fiercely loyal, incredibly loving, playful, and capable of leaping tall buildings with a single bound. Okay, but they can snatch your sandwitch off the kitchen counter in a heartbeat.

The thing is, they don't live very long. But you know that going in, so you cherish every one of them.

As a pastor, I know that every day, someone I love could face unspeakable tragedy. The conversation we had over potluck, might be our last. So I have to concentrate on life by the drop. Not a bad ministry model.

Got to run. You don't want a Dane to wait when they are ready to go outside. Noahaic.



Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Training Days
7God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, 8the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? 9We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? 10While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. 11At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. Hebrews 12: 7-11 The Message

Well friends, at 5:30 AM this morning, I dropped my youngest son off at the curb at the Pensacola airport. He was beginning a trip that would take him across the country by air, and then back again home in a car he purchased in California.

After coming home, later this morning Bunny asked me about how it went. "Did you drop him off or stay with him?"

"I dropped him off", I replied.

"It's much easier for Fathers, isn't it."

I wish.

God has blessed me with two sons. He gave me a limited amount of time to help them understand the most important things in life. The most important of all was that God, in His love for them, gave them life, placed them in our family, and was reaching out to them with the perfect love only He can give. That only He can give.

I was blessed to have a Father and later a Father in Love who are great men. They set high standards and continue to live out those standards even today.

Yet when first Adam, then Sean came into our lives, I can safely and without fear say that I knew that the challenge was mine. My shortcomings were and are most ably compensated for by Bunny's grace and humor, but men are uniquely called and equipped to raise boys to manhood.

Over the last 27 years, I've tried to do just that. It never felt good to have to spank them, or call them to account. It was always awesome to catch them doing something well and praise them. I've ranted at them, cried with them, laughed until I thought I would die. It has been my honor, my God-gift to be their Daddy. To watch them become men and begin their journey.

They do grow up. As I watched Sean walk confidently away to baggage check in today, I saw a man making his way, seeking life's adventures. There was nothing I could advise him on, nothing I could do further to protect him, so I drove away. Now we pray until he returns home safely.

Training days over for now, it is up to Sean to live it out.

Friends, each of us who follow Christ will have times of trouble, of trial where we wonder, "What's God doing?" We'll have those training days.

Consider the possibility that He's loving you through it, preparing you for your next great adventure of faith.


David Wilson