Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sins of the Father

My father and I have an interesting relationship.

Parent, child - colleagues. It can get kinda mixed up sometimes.

Not long after my first son was born, almost 13 years ago, I remember seeing something shift in dad. It seemed he needed to tell me that he was aware of how much of my life he missed while he was doing "church work."

Dad is good at what he does. He always has been, and to see him in a moment of introspection and confession was among our most "real" moments. And with that came the admonition that as I proceeded in ministry that I not forget the relationships that ground me - family. I made a pledge then that I would not let my pursuit of vocation get in the way of my covenantal vows to family.

13 years later - I must confess that it's a pledge I've broken too damn often.

Too many nights away only to see my kids asleep.

Too many calls of "Daddy, when are you coming home?" and too many times answered, "as soon as I can," knowing all the while that I was nowhere near home.

Too many times sacrificing the relational work with my partner while thinking there's still so much more I need to do at work - too much left undone.

Too many times seeking to be all things to all people only to realize too late that I've been very little to anyone.

This is the tension under which most of my life is lived - seeking to be relevant in ministry and relevant as a husband/father. Most of the time, it seems to make sense - where one sphere of life melds into the other seamlessly.

But there are times, like the last couple of days, I'm pretty sure I've sucked at both.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


How is it you seem so often to reach into my life and prang on that one string that is out of tune (well... maybe to one that is "most: out of tune...)

So often I feel like I'm reliving the scene in "City Slickers" - I see Curly holding up that finger and saying, "That's what you've got to figure out"!

If you figure out the answer, let me know...

Thanks for your vulnerability.