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Trying to Live the 5th Commandment

My father: George Daniels

Lunch at the Great Wall Buffet: Chinese Restaraunt.  This is pretty much par for the course.  Whenever I eat with him, it’s usually either Cracker Barrel or Chinese food.  Cracker Barrel is usually when it’s in the evening, and Chinese if it’s in the middle of the day.  I haven’t seen him in a couple of years.  I thought it might be nice if he got a chance to see the kids.

I haven’t lived with my father since I was 2 or so, and my memories of him are forged from short and intense visits with him during the summer.  Perhaps the intensity is because of the brevity and rarity of the visits or perhaps because of my father’s unbelievable and unwavering need to make sure I’m saved (and everyone else for that matter).

He just retired a few days ago and now has time to come up to Springfield to see us during the daytime (I usually only see him when I’m visiting my grandmother).  The lunchtime visit went pretty much according to our regular mode of operation: he doesn’t really ask me anything of substance, and never really tells me anything of substance about himself.  I think he’s fully focused on spending the short amount of time he has with me imparting pieces of wisdom and ways of being a good father and preacher and husband.  So, that’s what he does.

Most all of it is something he’s drilled into my head in previous visits or summertime stays.  This time, however, there seems to be a bit more intensity to the whole thing because he’s written down some notes.  He wants to make sure he passes along to me what’s on his heart.  It’s his way of loving me.  I don’t always agree with him, but I really appreciate it.  I really do, but my father has spent over three decades trying to share knowledge and wisdom with me, when all I’ve ever wanted was to know him.  Just him.  It’s all any child really wants.  Not things, not knowledge, not an inheritance.  Most people would trade ALL those things to have a deep and abiding knowledge of who their father or mother IS.

This is the kind of church I want to start…one where we don’t focus completely on knowing all about God, but in knowing God.  Being in God’s presence and letting our hearts dwell together with His: sometimes in silence, sometimes in rhythm, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in understanding, and sometimes in the middle of the large question marks – but no matter what – just knowing God and loving God and then trusting and following him with all our hearts.

Offer this gift to the one who loves you: spend enough time to know them.  Do the same for the One who loves you.

  1. August 12, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Mmm. Amen, AMEN. It’s been a while since I studied Fowler’s steps of faith development, but I think this transformative idea is somewhere along the essential steps of growth into a mature journey of discipleship. I remember Brett telling me about a season in college when he realized for the first time that God was a “person”…life changing. Amazing how we can slip back in to old habits of perspective sometimes, too. Without guidance and relationship, we can return to patterns of knowing the Rules instead of knowing the Lord. This is why the Body is so important…

    You’ve gotten me thinking. As always. : )

    See you soon!


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