Archive for June, 2012

I’m a sentimental slob and that means I take Father’s Day to heart. I love all of the mushy-gooshy-sentiment-laden-over-the-top-how-you-influenced-my-life stuff that helps raise Hallmark’s stock. I love the barbecue and the kindness of June’s fair weather. I love the riverside concert and fireworks. I love the long distance call.

Most of all, I love my children being with me. (I really do appreciate all of the sentiments, too.)

What is it about genetics and love that make hearts inseparable for a daddy? Is it that you lived through every stage and you are the only father they will ever have? Is it the fact that they grow up successfully and end up sharing a lot of the same values you had wondered if they’d ‘catch?’

Whatever it is, I’ve got that Father-fever and I guess it’s here forever.

Yet, this Father’s Day, I slept in a bit too much. I usually get up and spend that time with my Heavenly Father. And I didn’t do it. Oh, I went to church. But it wasn’t the same as our more intimate times. It made me think about times when my kids were doing something else and I wanted them near.

So, that’s what Father’s Day and fathering is all about. We get the perspective of God the Father, who misses us when we don’t show up and loves us through it. I made sure I got a walk in with Him a little later that perfect June day. He didn’t mention our missed encounter. He didn’t have to. I did… and repented. He was simply there, waiting for me as He always does, and it was a grand time with my Dad.


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I was drawn out of bed by booms and color from across the Hudson. It was Flag Day and there was a great display of fireworks.

But in the foreground in my backyard was an even greater celebration. It was mating season. Don’t get nervous, it was fireflies. What a show they put on! The fireworks, as fantastic as they were, literally faded into the background. I couldn’t take my eyes off the ‘mates.’

This juxtaposition of the temporal and eternal is a recurring theme in my life. My former commute along the Delaware River in New Jersey was a great case in point. If I looked to my right, the Delaware River shouted for my attention with its natural beauty and rich history. This was the exact spot where Washington spurned Christmas presents in favor of surprising hungover Hessians, and just as importantly, the place where I tubed down it, minus the tricorn hat.

If I looked to my left, I would see splendid Colonial homes perched upon the hills overlooking the Delaware. It seemed to me that there is always a choice between man-made creations like houses and God-made wonders like the Delaware River.

Some might say you can have both. Sitting on the porch overlooking the Delaware, one could say they have the best of both worlds. But for how long?

And I did, in fact, watch both the fireflies and the fireworks simultaneously. Yet, if I had to choose, the fireflies seem infinitely more spectacular.

Today, I write this from a porch perched high above another historic river, the Hudson. While I don’t want to live in a tent and I did enjoy the lightning bugs from the comforts of my bug-less bedroom, I have to say that houses are for here and lightning bugs are for the hereafter: “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” Revelation 21:23

PHOTO: The Hudson River sits under a beautiful, but man-made, bridge.

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Life has a way of interrupting our (literal) dreams and so was the case when I started drifting off to sleep only to be interrupted by an impressive display of fireworks across the Hudson River. Must be Flag Day. Why fight it? I got out of bed and moved to a bird’s-eye view of the celebration.

But, looking over my backyard toward the display, I couldn’t help notice that bugs only 2.5cm in length were fighting for supremacy over man’s great ingenuity. After all, computers are now used to time fireworks. No detail is left undone in their ‘choreography.’

How could a lightning bug hope to upstage all of this?

There were many and their synchronicity was unmatched. No human or computer could invent the timing of these Photinus sp. (one of their scientific names). It was brilliant. If it had just been one, I may not even have noticed. But it was a myriad. Like the stars, there is a sense that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

There is definitely something to be learned here other than its their mating season 🙂

Eventually, my heart and mind sided with the bugs over the fireworks. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. They were simply spectacular.

Why fireflies juxtaposed against boisterous fireworks at the exact same time? I muse. Perhaps God was getting my attention with the man-made stuff to get me to see the real thing right before my eyes. Perhaps God was showing that there will always be a choice between “Made in China” and “Made in Heaven.” (See my other blog on the temporal and eternal.)

Whatever the case, there is no shortage of God’s glory when we work together and let our gifts, under His guidance, glow.

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