so grateful to be a father

This is what qualifies me for Dad’s Day!
Photo from Thanksgiving 2011

So today is Father’s Day. It’s one of my favorite celebrations because no-one makes too much of it other than to let dad pretty much do whatever he wants. For me, that involves parking myself on the sofa and enjoying the luxury of watching a few hours of  U.S. Open Golf without feeling lazy or selfish.

However, being a Sunday, I started the day at church. There’s no better context than church to simply celebrate when it comes to embracing the feeling of gratitude that comes over me when I think about what it means to be a part of the general “dad” category.

My dad, relaxing on the recent family cruise

But before church I posted the following on facebook. Not on my dad’s wall, because he doesn’t have one (he doesn’t “do” facebook) – but on my mum’s; Mum does facebook enough for both of them and always reads Dad the good stuff when it comes by.

Hey, Dad, I’d post on your wall if you had one! Happy Father’s Day from one grateful son. There are lots of angles to Dad’s day (being a dad, being a son, being married to Rebekah so I can be a dad, being a father-in-law, remembering dads who have passed on…) – but having a DAD is how this all started for me. So thanks for being…. – DEREK

Becoming A Dad: Of course I never truly “got” the dad thing until June 20, 1982, when Andrew Kemp Maul made his spectacular debut after two days of labor and a 5:30 AM ride to Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital. Two years later Naomi Rebekah wildly expanded my understanding of “the dad thing” with her unique interpretation of life.

What followed may only have amounted to two decades of hands-on parenting, but it completely redefined our world. When we drove to the hospital in 1982, we were two young-adults starting out. By 2002 we were completely different people. This year, 2012, fatherhood is one joy stacked on top of another. I, for one, can’t thank my children enough.

They are both – equally – the apple of my eye!

MESSAGE: At First Presbyterian Brandon this morning Rebekah moved into week two of her “Names for God” summer series by talking about God as “Father.” The Bible uses over 200 names for God, so it’s important to understand how narrow it would be to limit our understanding to “male authority figure.” But at the same time “Father” is what Jesus called God in The Lord’s Prayer.

What stood out for me was Rebekah’s word that “We are the apple of God’s eye.” She used at least ten texts, but primarily focused on  the beginning of Deuteronomy 32.  That “God shields us and cares for us, and guards us as the apple of God’s eye.”

Life is best understood as a series of struggles, and the role of “dad” is no exception. But this is a struggle we engage gladly, most especially when we take the journey with our Heavenly Father as companion and guide.

Happy Father’s Day! – DEREK

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