As a pastor, I’m privileged to be a part of great moments in the lives of people. But I also get a front row seat to the pain of life. Much of it caused by people trying to break God’s laws. Instead, they end up breaking themselves against them.
I can still see the shiny streets of Saginaw, Michigan. My sister driving the car. The stillness of the world. A gentle rain and the sound of the methodical wipers as the only noise. Silence in the car.
When I became a young man I desired to be dad. Something in me wanted to impart life-giving truths to the next generation. I wanted someone on my shoulders seeing farther than I did. I however, never anticipated the moment I would find myself upon a hill in our family forest, digging a grave. I dug and chopped through frost and root-laden soil to bury our long-time family friend, our golden retriever, Montana.
Adolescence is a time of change. One of the things that will change is the gravity of your decisions. In today’s world, you have the power to make life-altering decisions before you can drive. You will move from having to choose between Fruity Pebbles and Coco-Puffs to big, life-changing decisions about God, humanity, authority, relationships, sex, money, and education. Previous generations had the benefit of a culture that correctly interpreted reality and a family structure that insured the lessons learned from previous generations could be passed down to up and comers. Today, our culture does not give you a genuine picture of reality. It reflects reality with all the accuracy of a fun-house mirror. It tells you evil is good and up is down. Couple this with a fractured and itinerant family structure — and hormones – you have a volatile mixture. Continue reading “Fatherly Advice: Life Isn’t Always What it Seems”