I Want to Be Like You, Dad
What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14).
You realized it. We all do. Not at the same time, but we all do. There is that moment when we realize the brevity of life and we question, “What is our purpose in life?” Why are were here? What are we to do? How long do we have? Scripture records James asking that question 2000 years ago, “What is your life?” Is our purpose to merely exist for 70 years or so and then die? Do we have a more noble calling and purpose? If so, are we fulfilling that presently.
Most of us have a profession but that is likely not going to be the thing for which we are remembered. Our greatest impact is what we do for the Lord and the impact we have on our family and circle of friends. For parents, the most compelling challenge is also our most meaningful legacy. The lives of our children are shaped by us to be what they will be in life. Their courses, character, and convictions were either set by us or by the world around us.
“By profession, I am a soldier, and take pride in that fact, but I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; a father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentialities of death; the other embodies creation of life; and while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me, not from the battle, but in the home repeating with him our simple, daily prayer, our Father Who art in Heaven.”—General Douglas MacArthur
Parents can become so busy that we lose sight of how much our children need us and how quickly life can get away from us. The life of a child changes so rapidly that if we fail to invest in their lives and minds as children to implant eternally significant values and truth, the opportunity will pass before we realize it. If we are eager to spend time with our children, they delight that “dad” or “mom” spent the day “with me”. If we find that to be a waste of time, they realize that our hearts are not focused on them. Soon, they will be busy with other things and don’t have time for us!
Charles Francis Adams, son of President John Quincy Adams and grandson of President John Adams, kept a diary. One day he entered: “Went fishing with my son today—a day wasted.”
His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: “Went fishing with my father—the most wonderful day of my life!” The father thought he was wasting time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it as an investment of time.
The only way to tell the difference between wasting and investing is to know one’s ultimate purpose in life and to judge accordingly. (Copied).