Archive for October, 2009

Lesson of the Itsy Bitsy Spider

When my daughter was very small, she had a favorite song she would sing, very loudly, often for hours at a time.

 This song is one most, if not all, of us know very well. “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. Just mentioning the song has many of you singing it right now.

 Like many children, my daughter, when she was first learning the song, replaced some of the correct words she could not remember, with something else so she could continue the song.

 In her case she added the words “whumpa whumpa”. Here is how it went:

 “The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.

And the whumpa whumpa spider went up the water spout

Down came the rain…..”

The effect of this addition was, it created a closed loop that never reached an ending. On long road trips, this became quite annoying for her brothers who had to sit in the back seat and hear the never ending song. Eventually, eliciting a desperate plea to “make her stop!”

It’s funny how we now look back and cherish some of the annoying things our children do because it is part of what has made them uniquely who they are today.

As fathers we sometimes add a “whumpa whumpa” to how we live our lives.

Physically, emotionally, and spiritually we add a “whumpa whumpa” and get locked into a never ending loop of responses, actions, reactions, thoughts, and etc. This “whumpa whumpa” causes those around us, as well as us, to become frustrated with the way our lives are going.

We keep doing the same things over and over without seeing any change in our lives. In fact, like the siblings in the back seat on a long road trip, we find ourselves digressing into destructive or argumentative behavior and not growing in a positive way.

Many of the American Indian tribes believed that life is a great spiral beginning at birth and ending in the afterlife joined with the Great Spirit. The expectation was always that what you see today you will see again in the future. The trick is that as you complete each circle, in life, you should not be seeing things from the same perspective. You must see things from a higher vantage point or you are not moving closer to the Great Spirit.

If we use our Father God as our example of perfect fatherhood, we will find ourselves constantly searching for new pearls of wisdom to become better fathers. As we seek we will learn more about our Father God and be drawn closer to Him.  Thus we will spiral ever closer and as we complete each circle in life, we will see the past in a different way,

Like when we look back on the annoying actions of our children and cherish them as part of what makes them uniquely who they are, we will be able to look at the things we face today and cherish them, no matter how bad they seem today, as what is forming us into better fathers who are more aligned with the perfect Father God.

Do not allow the “whumpa whumpa”, in your life’s moments, to lock you into a never ending loop of immature fatherhood.

Break free and climb the water spout again.

En Servicio Como Padre



The Extraordinary Man

I was thinking about some things I learned a few years ago, back to February of 2005 to be exact. It was then I had the opportunity to hear a particular message from Rick Godwin.

Rick’s message was about taking risks and how important it is to be willing to take risks in your life. There was one statement he made that hit me so hard, it still impacts me today. He said, “you can change the world…start with yourself, by becoming extraordinary”.

One thing I have learned over the years is it is very difficult to become something unless you understand what it is.

Extraordinary [ik-strawr-dn-er-ee, ek-struh-awr-] adjective
1. beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established: extraordinary costs.
2. exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy: remarkable: extraordinary speed; an extraordinary man. (

In Hebrew, the word we translate for extraordinary is yotzai dofen; (lit. “go out from the wall.”) Balashan-Hebrew Language Detective, February 16, 2006; it is the word used in the Hebrew language for cesarean section.

Cesarean Section, as you know, is the act of opening the mothers womb and removing the child. Often this act is performed to save both the life of the child and the mother.

For fathers, this reference to an act performed on a mother takes on an even more significant note when we think of the world around us as having such a significant impact upon who we are. Both good and bad, the world around us has molded us into the person/personality we are today.

If we continue on in who we are now, with no change, we will not only continue to perpetuate the past, through our children, but we will never grow to a point that we can make a difference in our world.

Cesarean section is not without pain, danger, or complications. This is where the risk comes in. As fathers we must be willing to change the world through yotzai dofen. We must “go out from the wall”, for at the wall there is protection, security, even warmth, but we must move away from the wall. Away from the wall, away from the shadows cast, there the light can shine directly on us and things become much clearer. We will see things in a new light, the clarity of which has the potential to change the world.

As a society we have walled ourselves in to protect our children and not allow them the exposure to risk.

A wall we fiercely protect and sustain with every financial and physical advantage we can give. Our children have little opportunity to change the world. From birth to graduation from college, we maintain the wall and then turn them loose on a world that is in need of extraordinary people to save it. With few tools at their command, true change is not likely to happen.

Our ancestors did not have the luxury of walling in their children. They had to learn to adapt. They had no 401k, no social security, not pension, just extraordinary faith. Extraordinary faith is the basis for extraordinary risk and thus extraordinary acts. Extraordinary acts performed by extraordinary men creating extraordinary change that made this world great.

Today, we must “go out from the wall,” for if we do not, we can’t expect to change the world.

Become an extraordinary father

En servicio como padre

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