Musings on Father's Day

For many, the idea of Father's Day doesn't bring warm feelings.  Some grew up never knowing a dad, or perhaps knowing a cruel dad.  Others, like my wife, may have recently lost their dad and today brings up some hard emotions.  For these reasons, often the idea of God as a 'Father' doesn't really hit home to everyone.  I propose the idea that there is another aspect of fatherhood that we can use to frame our relationship with God.

I happen to be among those who had a good dad, and for that reason the idea of God as a Father communicates to me more of what the Bible meant it to.

But I have noticed something sort of quirky about Father's Day.

The person you are, and the person your kids think you are, isn't always the same.  This is most often shown by the gifts you get on Father's Day.  You may share the same experiences together with your kids, but their memories of it, and their perspective on it, may be drastically different than your own.  And so, for Father's Day maybe you opened something that said to you "my kid totally does not know me at all.  I'm allergic to chocolate covered cashews!"  But your kid may be thinking 'dad always eyes those chocolate covered cashews, and passes them up because they're so expensive… I'm going to treat him this year!"

And so I have noticed, that when your children become older, and you hear their stories, that sometimes how THEY view you, isn't exactly how YOU view you, or even how your dearest friends view you.

Sometimes that can be good, (they view you as more awesome than you think you are) or bad (they view you as having more failures than you feel you deserve credit for).

In the end of our lives, we are a collection of memories from people who's lives we've touched.  When you gather at a memorial, you hear all these many facets of a person you did not know about, and sometimes are surprised by.

A human being is an extremely intricate thing, and no one other human can ever fully know us completely.  Some get very close.

But God can know us completely.  Know us better than we know ourselves.  Ironically, though God never changes, we can spend our entire lives getting to know Him, and still fall short of the fully knowing Him.

I find this aspect of fatherhood very interesting.
As a man of 40 I viewed my dad through a different lens than a child of 5 did.

As we mature, and we grow closer to God, and experience more of life, we gain a richer understanding of who He is.  And we can describe Him to other people, and yet, how wonderful will it be when we are in His presence one day in heaven and realize how truly remarkable He really is?

There are some parts about God I'm sure I know well.  There are other parts that are a mystery to me.  I am excited about knowing Him more with time.

One aspect of Fatherhood that appeals to me when I think about God being a Father, is the idea that we can continually get to know Him better as our relationship matures, and we experience more sides of His nature.