Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Hourglass

Remember that scene in "The Wizard of Oz" where the Witch has had enough of Dorothy escaping her schemes and she turns over a giant hourglass and tells Dorothy she has until the sands run out to give her the ruby slippers or she'll kill her family?
Remember how Dorothy tries to turn over the hourglass but no matter which way it's pointing, the sands keep running out?
That's life for a divorced dad.
I just got back from the grocery store and while I was there I saw a dad come in with his little daughter in tow. She looked to be no more than three and had beautiful curly blond hair. She was walking along three steps to his one and smiling broadly. Morgan used to do that.
Now she comes up to my shoulder and often prefers to be with her friends than with her dad.
That's how it goes I moves forward but when your time is so limited anyway, it feels like everything moves at double speed.
No matter how I turn the hourglass I can't stop the sands of time from escaping.
I'm a big, strong man...but I'm not that strong.
Today I watched this little girl having a blast just being with her dad and it made me literally swim in memories of when that picture was my own life. I had to duck down an empty aisle and hide my eyes because the waterworks were very close. Most times I can hide the emotions that rise up when I think about the years racing by and my daughter growing up, but sometimes I can't.
I'm a big, strong man...but not that strong.
Treasure every second, Dads. Make memories because you aren't just making them for your're making them for you, for those lonely days and nights when your kids are older and being with dad isn't as cool as it once was. Remembering is a good way of reminding yourself that you did the job well.

Be a Ten Talent dad

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Becoming a Ten-Talent Dad...

Blaise Pascal wrote once about how we all were made in the image of God, and that being true, since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God's absence in our soul has left a longing and yearning that we try to fill all our lives. We might try drugs or alcohol or power or money or sex or fame or even isolation. But we try something...often many fill what can never be filled outside of a right relationship with Him.
Our lives with our children are very much the same. If you are a divorced dad you understand what I am saying.
I miss my daughter more than words can ever say. I think about her each moment. I make every decision based on how it will effect her life. I remained in Nashville because I refused to have her grow up without a dad the way I did. There is a child-shaped hole in the hearts of a divorced dad and it can never be filled by things, or power, or money or anything else. Most men succumb to it and carry around a painful vortex inside, into which a lot of happiness and hope gets pulled.
Last week on DadMatters we came up with a great descriptive for dads and it's something I am going to develop in the future. The term is "Ten-Talents Dads". It's a reference to the parable Jesus taught about the ten talents. It's the story of a businessman giving some money (talents...a unit of currency in Bible days) to three different servants and going on a trip. When he gets back, he discovers that the one he gave five talents to invested it and doubled his money and he got back ten talents. The one he gave two talents to invested it and doubled his money and the master got back four. The servant he gave one talent to buried his talent in the backyard because he was afraid that if he got daring with it and lost it, the master would punish him. He got only the original talent back from this man and he punished him severely.
Jesus concluded the parable by saying "If you are faithful in little things I will make you faithful in big things." 
Ten-Talents Dads is going to be a program whereby we develop what we do have with our kids, and make best use of the time apart from them. In this way we are constantly working on our fatherhood skills whether our kids are with us or not. In doing this, I believe God is going to bless us with bigger and broader influence and impact in our childrens lives.
It's time to take control of what we can do and what we can become, men. Let's be Ten-Talents Dads!
Please check back...this is going to get good!