Perhaps it is the confluence of my retirement and Father’s Day, but I have been thinking about my father a lot recently. We had 57 years together and he liked me to call him Dad. No matter how young or old I was. We went through the various stages of our lives together although we were not able to talk about them much. I have loved my dad beyond words, and I have honored, feared, admired, resented, pitied, encouraged, and counseled him. My relationship and feelings toward him changed over our years together. No matter what stage of life we were in – he was always “Dad” to me.
I am thinking today, as I enter retirement, that God has always been God for me. I have gone through all the stages of my life with God, and, like my dad, not always able to articulate what I was feeling. I have loved, criticized, feared, delighted, resented, obeyed, disobeyed, praised, and complained to God. But God was always God to me.
The lesson – it is always important to at least hang around God during the days and nights of our lives. I know, “hang around” God sounds not-so-holy. But when we hang around God, it is amazing the places he will lead us, the people we meet, the trials we endure and the days we will rejoice and be glad. Do not fear, I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. (Is. 43: 1)
No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, no matter what emotion you are experiencing, no matter how strong or weak your faith my be. Do not fear. Open your day with the simple prayer, “God, I want to hang out with you today…” and then pay attention to your day – we are being redeemed through it all.
Grace and peace,