We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen… 1Corinthians
I was honored by an invitation to speak to a men’s meeting that a friend was hosting recently. I prayed and thought about what would be appropriate to share. Later on while I was mowing, this inspiration came to me.
We are building an invisible house. Sometimes the visible things around us compete with that reality, including our natural “house” or accumulations. These two, as far as focus or priorities go, can be mutually exclusive and at a minimum tend to struggle with each other for first place. Keeping the most important thing as primary will go a long way toward a fruitful and peace filled life. If we focus solely on natural things and accumulations, it will undermine and steal the opportunity away from the construction of our spiritual lives. That is why we must realize that “consumerism” or materialism is a deadly weapon to our effectual faith, especially so in our post modern culture.
Before I went to kindergarten, I had my first spiritual experience. How precocious, right? Well.. This spiritual encounter was actually from the devil. I was between 2 & 3 yrs old. I remember it, grant you. Not sure forgetting that is possible. I was in the middle bedroom at my grandmother’s house, where we were living due to my parent’s recent divorce. It was little kid nap time, and Mammaw Hill had laid me down for a nap. To the left side of the bed he appeared at some stage in nap time. It was a classic depiction of the devil, maybe I’d seen him on “deviled” ham cans, but there was no mistaking who was there. The jest of the encounter was this; he was (falsely) claiming me as his own. This experience was not from God and was accompanied by a payload of fear, with a side of attempted control and deception. I never wanted to nap in that room again.
Humans are Spiritual Beings
“Keep a man from food and he will gobble poison”, CS Lewis astutely declared. In this exploration of things spiritual, I hope to help you discern between the food and the poison. Discernment is the needed key ingredient, which we appear to be very nearly devoid of in our times. Discernment of spirits as it’s called in the old KJV, is as much for discerning the true as it is the false. We are lacking the discernment of the true just as much as we are the false. “Don’t be deceived” is a recurring phrase in the scripture and not without reason. Absent vigilance, and growing skill, deception is unavoidable. We might even slip so far as to call the good, evil and the evil, good. Woe to us!
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
As we enter this world, the smile and joyful exclamations of one man welcome us to our new reality. Who is this man? He is known as our father. This moment is the beginning of the important role he plays in the different stages of our life. He is not just an individual who helped in our creation or pays our bills at the end of each month.
A father is a person who gives all he can to help you, in ways great or small. He takes the responsibility he has been given seriously and sacrifices himself for the sake of his children. He has a role to play, which no other individual can replace. A father is one who gives in selfless love to provide for you, teach you, and challenge you.
A father is a giving person who sacrifices daily for his family. This sacrifice may be found in working long hours to support the family or spending time with his kids. Through this sacrifice, he realizes that he is not the center of his world. He is aware of the importance of the responsibility he has been given. Sacrifice is a necessary element of fatherhood.