For a number of years I had dreamed of becoming a Father, and devoting my life to loving someone unconditionally, and raising that child to become the best person they could be...at least that was what I had scripted.
I used to believe that all you needed in life was love, I guess I still believe that, but now I say "all you need in life is God's love". Love alone will not provide all the tools you need to navigate through life by yourself, God's love will give you what you need at all times. I haven't changed my overall vision of what being a Father would be like, however I was doing it based primarily on my own understanding, and frequently forgot to consider God's vision.
I had been raised in a family where each of my parents had mixed opinions of what God meant to them, and because of that I was left to figure out on my own what God meant to me. We would go to church occasionally, but I felt like it was just to make an appearance now and then. We were never involved with anything at our church other than the occasional services we went to and Sunday school when we did go. We didn't go often enough for me to get much benefit out of the program.
I have since come to the realization that God created me for a reason, but trying to figure that out on my own, there was no way to know for sure what that reason was.
When the time came and I became a Father I tried to follow my script. I quickly realized there is no scripting Fatherhood...this is real life, not a movie script. With a script everything happens just as you envision it, but in life there are many surprises that cannot possibly be scripted; bumps, bruises, and sometimes trips to the ER...I certainly wouldn't have scripted these things.
I have always wanted to be everything for my child that he would ever need me to be, and that he would be able to talk to me about anything that he ever needed to talk about. As he was growing up he had established connections with other adult male role models. I was ok with him having role models, but then one day he said something like "I really like this person, I can talk to him about anything". I was surprised and offended by that comment because that was what I scripted myself to be doing.
I realized that I was playing God in a sense, and wanting to be everything that he needed, forgetting that God is the only one that can be everything that you need.
As I thought back to my childhood, I realized that parents are not the only people to provide a child's needs, and sometimes a change of scenery is healthy. It is however important for us as Fathers to know the difference between a positive role model and a negative role model, because a child may not really know the difference.
I remember myself easily trusting people that I would happen to encounter as a child, but would probably question it if my child were do that sort of thing nowadays. I was fortunate to never have very many bad experiences in my childhood. I do however remember one situation where I was saved by my Dad who just happened to be driving by at that moment and stopped to talk to me. I happened to be in a situation that I could not find a way out at the time. I never told him about what was going on because I was too scared to talk about it, and I didn't think that he would understand anyway. I believe that God put my dad there at that moment in time to come to my rescue, although that didn't cross my mind on that day.
I don't remember very many Father's days where I would think to honor and celebrate our Father in heaven, but wouldn't it make sense to do that as well?.. I could have followed my script as much as I wanted to, but in the end the result would not have looked anything like what I had scripted. God is the one true Father of all beings, yet I originally neglected to include him in my script. I have since realized that we are all part of his script, and everything does happen for a reason...God's reason.
Rich is employed by Kistler Buildings in Fogelsville, PA, and has been employed there since 1987. Hobbies include; bowling, singing, taking long walks and writing. Rich has been a member of FPC Bethlehem since February, 2012 and is an active Middle School youth leader here at FPC, as well as one of the newest members of the Creative Arts Team.