Monday, June 20, 2005

The Day After Father's Day

My Father's Day was in many ways very good, and in one way a little sad. Good because my family marked the occasion with a new wet/dry vac (perfect for the recently cleaned-up garage), and a chain saw we'd acquired on Saturday finally proved willing to start.
On those counts alone, I felt like an episode of ''Home Improvement,'' although that's about the only way this posting connects to television.
The biggest event of the day came when I was among several people elected new elders at our church.
Some of my oldest friends are probably doing a spit-take after reading that. I have been a regular church-goer only for about two years, after an absence that lasted about 15 years.
I never gave up my faith, and tried to pass it on to my sons, but church attendance, let alone membership, was something tied to holidays.
That changed when I met my bride, who brought me back to regular worship much the way my first wife had urged me into church before her death. Only by being part of the process have I come to realize how much I missed being part of a religious community, the benefits of collective prayer, the guidance that can come from a sermon that seems aimed directly at my troubled soul.
All of those things have happened, and all have helped get me through some personal challenges. I've been guided more than once by my pastor's thoughts about doing the right thing instead of the easy thing. When the idea of being an elder came up, I suspected it wouldn't be easy. But I knew that it would be right, and I am grateful for the opportunity.
Now, what does this have to do with Father's Day? Well, my father had been active in his church, and with my mother had seen to it that my sister and I were brought up in one. He was also an elder in his church, and in being elected to that office on Father's Day, I thought of him, and how I was carrying through something that had been important to him.
That's not the reason I did it, of course. But it's a lovely side benefit.

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