I wrapped a couple Christmas presents this week. It is the season we hope to give and receive great gifts. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
Here is a tougher question. Do you still have it? Or have all the “must have,” “just gotta have” desires that ruled that particular season faded to a faint memory?
It is easy to miss. We rub up against it from time to time but may never truly grasp the magnitude of the moment. Let alone embrace the depth of its impact. But in those brief “ah-ha” moments we can’t help but think, “I need to employ the power of compassion more often!”
I was speaking at a conference in Texas earlier this year. During the break before I was going to be introduced a gentleman urgently approached me. It was clear he had something he wanted me to hear.
It took me awhile to understand being a father is easy but becoming a great dad is difficult. You don’t need a degree or license to become a father. Fatherhood rarely begins as you expect it to or unfolds as you plan. It is indiscriminate in its ability to reveal and demonstrate how ill equipped you are to run this race.
Fatherhood is a strange paradox—testing your resolve and commitment like few things can and providing joy like nothing else can. It may be the essence of clinging to the obligation and responsibility of being a father long enough to understand how becoming a dad creates a lasting and rippling impact on our kids.
I take it off the shelf every once in awhile. I’ll definitely pull it down a few times in the next few days. It has meaning beyond its physical and spiritual nature.
Simply touching it draws me closer to sustaining and encouraging memories. It reminds me of incredible love as well as excruciating pain.
In the fall of 1967 a young Air Force Sergeant receives his new orders. He arrives home to share the news he will soon be leaving for Vietnam. His young wife is only 29. His kids are eleven, eight, and four. Thinking through future scenarios he wants to assure the safety and security of his young family.
He buys a house they can call home, and enjoys moving them in. They celebrate the house, but the homecoming will have to wait.