Yesterday was Father's day....
It was a quiet day...a good day. Reflecting on my own journey as a father, as well as remembering my own dad. I chose the picture above of my two sons, Chad and Josh, because that is how I still see them in my mind, and in my heart. Oh those two little guys have been replaced by grown men with families of their own. But still...if you get very quiet in this house here on Greene Street, I believe you can still hear the slamming of doors followed by a loud inquiry of "Hey! Do we have anything to drink or eat?" Of course such inquires were never intended just for the two Bynum boys....it had to include the whole entire neighborhood gang.
These two boys only had one speed....that would be wide open. The only time that speed would not be applied was when there was work to be done. It took a U.N. summit meeting to come up with a plan that was fair to both parties when it came to work. Every chore was divided equally. Equality being defined in the eyes of who ever got to choose first.
Emptying the dishwasher....racks had to be divided so that no one son had more to unload than the other. I have refereed arguments over how to divide the silver ware rack. Even today when clan Bynum gets together, and mom tells the boys to unload the dishwasher, they revert to the same behavior. "Wait a minute," Josh would say loudly..."You've got less to do than I have." To which Chad would declare, "Being the older brother has benefits". Such exchanges usually meant it was time for Vicki or I to step in.
Let's not get on what took place when it was time to mow the grass...the yard was divided and subdivided into plots, squares, territory based on topographical maps. If your part of the yard included higher incline then it was only logical you didn't have to mow as much as say someone who was on level ground. There were times when I use to wonder..."How will these two make it when they are grown." But make it they did.
When Chad was five and Josh was two, Vicki and I were attending Central Methodist. One Sunday night during ministry time, we were both very much aware of how inadequate we were to raise children. Not that we were stupid..or ignorant...we just knew that there was a greater call to being parents other than having good children. In our hearts we wanted them to be godly children. So we decided to take our sons to the altar and present them to God. Here we went...Chad and Josh in tow, we placed them on the altar rail and prayed..."They are your sons, Lord. We don't want to mess this whole parent thing up, so give us wisdom and understanding on how to raise them the way you want us to." I'd love to say that the heaven's parted and angels walked up and down a celestial ladder, but it didn't happen. What did transpire over the years was the faithfulness of God that rested upon our sons and us. We've been through some hard times. We still made some bone headed mistakes, but God has demonstrated His faithfulness because of our giving our sons to Him. May sound a bit corny or delusional, but it has been a real and tangible work from God's hand that we've watched over the years, and now it is taking place in the lives of our grand children.
So while I am grateful to receive all the accolades that come with Father's day, I know who the real Father is in this celebration. I have no problem bowing my knee in gratitude for the family he has allowed me to lead. So to my wife and my sons, may God continue to bless you all. As a Father, there is a great sense of humility in that at some point, when I stand before the Father, I will be able to present my entire family to Him. Wowzers!!
God on you....