Archive for July, 2008

You, the Superhero?

 Who is your favorite superhero?  That answer for some is easy, for others not so easy.  After all, there are many superheroes.  The come in many different forms and with so many different powers.  You know, some of them, the most visible like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, The Hulk, Super Woman, Wonder Woman, Aqua Man, even Underdog. 

Zorro

Zorro

 As a father I think about the Superheros I had as a child.  For instance, there was Zorro.  Zorro was the defender of the poor.  He would expose the evil plans of the rich and with the help of his trusty horse and sword, he would turn back evil and promote good.  Always leaving behing his trademark, the Z.  That Z got me into so much trouble as a kid.  I marked everything with a Z.  My fathers fruit trees, the back of his tool shed, the posterior of my sisters dolls, you name it I put a Z on it.  None of these masterful exploits held a candle to the time I skillfully carved a Z in the back of each vinyl chair of my Mother’s brand new dining set.  No one said thank you for the work I had done to protect them from the evil Dons.  All I got was discipline.
Then there was Commando Cody, Commando Cody could put on his helmet and fly anywhere he needed to be.  He could rescue people from the enemy, he could snatch them out from under the falling asteroid, he could do anything with the help of that helmet.  My father, was building an outside kitchen before they were known as outside kitchens.  He was building an outside barbeque pit made with rock and mortar.  In order to build an adequate chimney, he purchased an military surplus metal fuel tank from an airplane.  He cut the two pointed ends off leaving a perfect tube the right length for his chimney.  One of those fuel tank ends looked just like that helmet Commando Cody used. Before my Dad realized it, I had that piece of tank on my head and I jumped off the car port.  Landing head first on the ground I severely cut my shoulders and had a ringing headache for several days.  I was lucky; the sharp edge could have severed my head.  There again, I got no thanks for my efforts at saving the world.  Only more discipline.
As a father, I look back on those days and I understand my affection for these Superheroes.  They could do anything, they were loved by most, and helped everyone without question.  They did not know the word NO, except to stop the efforts of the Super Villains who plagued their lives.  They didn’t ask for anything they just gave without question.
Today, the Super Villains are made up of different stuff, but they are still Super Villains.  Today, they are drugs, gangs, road rage, inflation, and the like.  They threaten to steal away our peace, our security, our future, our wives and our children.  Today the Super Villains, represent the same elements of the Super Villains of our childhood, they are just all to real to us as Fathers.

Yet, many of us still feel like I did as a young child.  Despite all our efforts, we get no thanks, only more work and more problems.  What we really don’t realize is that there is a group of people who do recognize our efforts.  They recognize we love them and would do anything for them without question.  They realize we must do what we are called to do, or the Super Villains of today will overtake us.  These are our families.  To our wives we are the debonair Zorro, to our children we are the fast moving Commando Cody.  To others who are watching us from a distance, we are what they want to be.

Don’t give up.  The bible tells the story about Adam and Eve, who in the garden took the forbidden fruit and set the world on a course for destruction.  God as the first Superhero stepped in and saved all mankind by coming and making the ultimate sacrifice to overcome the Super Villains of this world.  For this he has endured rejection and pain from many.  But to his children, he receives love and praise.

We need to recognize that God asks nothing of us he hasn’t done already.  He knows the love of our children.  He knows the pain we endure.  He knows the fear we experience.  He hands us our sword and our helmet and helps us face the Super Villains who seek to take away every good thing we have in this life.

Become the Superhero God meant for you to be.  In the process you will realize you have much more to be thankful for than you realize.

En servicio como padre

Dave

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How far can you hit the ball?

I was reading an article by Paula Moldenhauer (Stopping at Second, Crosswalk.com) in which she described a scene where a young boy so amazed at how far he hit the ball, stood on second base watching the ball.  Meanwhile the fans, the coach and his team mates frantically encouraged him to run on to third.  Paula so aptly put the scene in terms of keeping his eyes on the coach would have put him in scoring position.

As fathers, most of us know the feeling of desperately trying to get our children’s attention in a effort to help them improve their position.  Too many times have I tried to explain the faults of a logical position taken by one of my children only to have them continue to move along the same path, often taking the more painful approach to the learning they were destined to receive.

I even remember my own father and mother trying to “talk some sense” into me.  We often seem to be so focused on what we have done and where it is taking us, that we miss the opportunity to realize a greater blessing.  As fathers we are often focused on providing a life for our family, so much so, that we often miss the whole experience of fatherhood.  We watch as the ball of our career, or accomplishments, or even self pursuits, flies higher and higher.  We are so amazed at what we have done that we take our eyes off the coach and miss the real opportunity to make a lasting difference in the lives of our children and families.

Keeping our eyes on the coach is the true discipline.  More often than not overlooked or ignored.  Psalms 105:4-5 tells us; “Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence. Remember the world of wonders he has made, his miracles, and the verdicts he’s rendered.”  If we grow beyond the stage of the amazed little boy, into the stage of the strong disciplined father, we will know that every ball we hit will surely be a home run.

En servicio como padre

Dave


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