June 11, 2014 by Pastor Ben McIntire
I’m not usually a very sentimental guy. When we moved I was much happier pitching a lot of stuff than hanging on to a bunch of old junk. But ever since I became a father, certain things really grab hold and yank on my heartstrings–most specifically, any poignant imagery that involves little children and parents. I suppose it’s due in large part to paternal love, the innocence of children, and the transience of childhood that I have realized that I really am just a big softie after all.
So when I came across the videos on Moments.org, I was cut to the heart by a couple of their film shorts. In particular, the video “Sandcastle” hit close to home for me. As a daddy and a pastor, it is always a balancing act to give enough time to my family. Ministry and the mission of the church are incredibly important, so it can be easy to spend 55-60 hours a week doing the “Lord’s” work. The challenge for me is stepping back to remember that God’s Holy Spirit is everywhere all the time, never resting and always moving. I can’t, and shouldn’t try to be like that. Christ has already saved the world, it’s not my job to duplicate Him.
Instead, my role as daddy means that I’m responsible to love, teach, encourage, protect, provide for and enjoy my two little daughters. What parents need is to remember and be empowered by society and employers to take the time that is needed to be present to their children. And while I’m on the subject, the same goes for the woman that made it possible to be for me to be a father… Spouses also need their own time for each other to grow in their marriage relationships. I hope you will take a minute to learn from and watch the video by clicking: “Sandcastle.”
My mother-in-law has a framed quotation hanging in her house that says, “If you want to be in your grandchildren’s memories, you must be in their lives today.” As we approach Fathers’ Day, I’m giving thanks for the memories I have of a good father and a happy childhood. Even more, I’m thankful for the gift of faith, the grace and promises of my Heavenly Father. I know that there are many in the world who have trouble with the image of God as Father due to the absence or abuse inflicted on them by earthly fathers. But we do have this example of perfect love and relationship with God in Christ. I hope that this Fathers’ Day you are reminded to take the time to read fairytales, play pretend, hide and seek, sniff at dandelions, watch worms crawling in the garden, and maybe even build a sandcastle.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of loving relationships in my life, especially parents and children. Help me find balance in the hustle and bustle of life to focus on the people in my life.
Oh, and God…
Happy Fathers’ Day!