Becoming a Father of Men

This is a sobering time; a time that brings many feelings to the surface.  First, it is my 2nd son’s 21st birthday.  Second, it is the eve of my youngest son’s 18th birthday.  That being said, it would not be complete without mentioning my oldest son’s 23rd birthday just 8 days ago.  As you can see, March has always been a special month in our family.  It always will be.

I used to joke with everyone that “my boys’ birthdays are March 12th, 20th and 21st.  My birthday is in April and we are usually broke by then”.  We managed (sometimes with a lot of help) to get through Christmas and a 2 month reprieve before a round of birthdays every year though, and still they found a way to celebrate mine too…but they were children, learning the ways to honor each other.  We didn’t always teach it well.  We weren’t always the best example.  We weren’t always together, but we still found a way to do it.

Today, though, marks a special time for me though.  Today is the last day that I am a father of children.  For tomorrow, I will be a father of men.

Now I know that age is not a sign of maturity; whether mental, physical or spiritual.  Heck, I have met 40 year old “adults” that were not as mature as my boys, but it is a milestone of time.  This milestone signifies how long they have endured this life…and each of them have endured much.  This enduring is what many have talked, addressed and sung about for ages.  This enduring is worth celebrating for our whole family.

For as we enter this new time, with little brother “pulling up the caboose”, I want each of you to hear these things from me:

  1. I am proud of you.
  2. I do not define you by your failures. Thank you for not defining me by mine all these years.
  3. You have a lot of life ahead of you therefore aim well. If you fail, at least you will fail while learning in the right direction.
  4. Despite what others may say, you will always be loved by your mom and me. Yes, feelings can sometimes make it seem different, but the principle stands that we love you unconditionally.
  5. You are all men now. There is no going backwards, only forwards…go forth boldly.

I feel that it is only fitting that this ends with this passage of scripture.  It came at a time when Paul was describing Love in 1 Corinthians 13…and quite appropriately, he spoke of maturing…

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”

While I will miss being a father of children, I look forward to this new adventure; this adventure as a father of men.

 

The Habit of Procrastination

I am a bundle of feelings right now. I have not written in this blog for quite some time. My interests and desires have been elsewhere. Work. The worries of life. Self. Many of us either have been there or are there now.

But this has helped me to examine the motive for our actions if we have this habit. This habit, that I speak of can be explained like this. You have strayed away from something you know you need to do. You are procrastinating from doing it because you do not want the feeling of guilt about inaction. It is easier to not do it and say that you just stopped rather than deal with that feeling when you do start.

You can actually turn it backwards and look at quitting a habit or addiction like smoking (some of us can talk about this because we have faced it). Quitting smoking involves changing a character trait or modifying it. It is easier sometimes to start up again, say “I failed” and not have the struggle than to keep the struggle going. We get relief from starting up again. Yes, relief. Relief from the battle. Relief from everyone asking about our struggle. Relief from wondering what we actually can do with our hands since we are not smoking. It is easier than changing ourselves.pablo (1)

Turning it back around, though, what about things we are supposed to do, should do or are “expected” to do.

Some are simple.

Some are hard.

Simple things like writing in the blog. You know that you feel more complete and whole when you do. It allows you to “empty” your soul or rant or whatever but it is beneficial to you. If you do not type that much normally, it helps to improve this skill at least. But it takes the effort to do so.

Hard things like saying goodbye to a friend or loved one, whether they have died or just gone away for a while. Having to suffer the emotion, knowing that tears may be involved, we shy away because it is easier. It is easier because we can deal with others temporarily thinking about why we didn’t say goodbye or visit the surviving family rather than suffering through personal heartache and transparency. We would rather choose the road that is easy; the freeway; the road more traveled, so to speak.

Well, then there is this saying that I put together. It goes like this.

Restriction: I can’t do it
Procrastination: I’ll get around to it
Inspiration: I’ll do it when I feel like it
Perspiration: I will do it no matter what

Some people say “Man Up!” (or “Woman Up!”). Some say “Get some balls already!”. I say “The only way to get it done is to figure out how to do it and get after it!”. Why? Because the habit of procrastination kills. A part of you dies every time you procrastinate. I have heard so many stories of people who died shortly after retiring because they didn’t plan on what to do, had nothing to do and lost purpose. When we procrastinate, we lose purpose. In fact, it carves away at our very lives. It provides us a way to lose our lives and purpose rather than enrich them.

In previous writings, we have looked at failure and the circumstances we cannot change; things that happened that are in the past or did not happen because of something we did. Those are things that cannot change.

This is something we can. We can change the way we do things. We have the ability to change how we do things. You may say “I don’t know how”. Find out how. Try something different. If you find yourself doing something that keeps you away from the purpose that you desire to do, look at what you did that led you to doing that (this is common for computer troubleshooters). Examine what you did previous to the action that happened and do something different. Do something that you see leading yourself towards a better result.

You can change the way you do things…but you can’t and won’t, if you don’t.

Revenge

Ahh…the joys of being a parent…and grown-up

The Dad Letters

Sons,

I don’t know if you’ll have Twitter when you’re older, so I wanted to make sure I captured this story that I therapeutically put out into Internetland earlier this evening.

Living with people is weird. I love your mother, and I love all of you, and I know this will be funny when I wake up in the morning, but right now I still have a bit of steam coming from the ears.

Enjoy.

View original post 387 more words

A Different Power

Have you ever been driving down the road, having an OK to great day, cruising at a safe speed, listening to the radio…and then, out of the corner of your eye, you get this:

Hey...Pay attention to the road!!!
Hey…Pay attention to the road!!!

What is the first thing out of your mouth? “What?!?” “Idiot!!!” “Where does he get the right to…!!” Maybe worse.
Well, congratulations! Your mind has just been controlled. You went from mellow to blood pressure issues in a few seconds and it was your choice. Yes, it was your choice to be controlled and you chose to allow your emotions to go in that direction.
Now, we can think about what you could have done. Something a little more “controlled”. Just like we talked about a couple of days ago, certain things make the “true you” come out.
Examine this power. Not the power that you gave to that guy who pulled up next to you and yelled, but the power in you. It is you who has the power here.
The power is forgiveness and the way you read about it here, may not be what you are expecting.
When exploring your own heart, digging around for nuggets, soul-searching…what are you finding? Are you finding things that make you sad, angry, beaten? Forgiveness is a power that you have…not only to forgive those who wronged you. You have the power to let go and forgive those who have inadvertently made your life take an unintended direction…and they actually did nothing against you. Maybe I need to rephrase that. You forgiving in this way is about straightening up your life, not theirs. It could have been anyone from your father to some guy on TV…It could even be God.
God needs no forgiveness from you for Himself…
but you may need to forgive Him…for you.

Back to that guy in the car (although we might need to meditate on some of the previous words for a while).
He does not need you to say “Oh, you poor soul. I forgive you”. Truth is, that guy could have been you and you probably would not be interested in forgiveness at that time. But you need the act of forgiveness coming out of you.
This is a gap that many fathers forget because they have not learned to deal with it themselves. This is a power that when wielded properly, can lay spiritual and physical enemies to waste quickly. One that empowers you.
A different power.