I’ve always been kind of a daddy’s girl — the first to want to bale hay, pitch manure or even work on the lawn. No matter the farm activity, I knew that I was going to get extra time with my dad. Time working together was time spent hearing stories about life, about family, about growing up in an era I knew very little about. My dad had a way of explaining why we did what we did. We were Fasts: we loved our bread and we cared for our family! My dad is and was also the kind of tough guy that could get angry if things didn’t go his way, and at the same time tear up at the playing of the national anthem or if his beloved Cincinnati Reds won a hard-fought game. My dad felt it all! Maybe that, too, is why I so relate to my dad. I also get angry, downright mad, and then the next moment I’m tearing up, empathetic because someone in my universe is hurting and in pain. This week as we’ve lost some beloved dads in our faith community, my heart is turned toward those who are without a dad, whether because of death, choice or some other form of separation. I can imagine there are some who dream of being a dad, but for whatever reason so far have been unable to experience that dream.
I want to remind us that parenting comes in all kinds of forms. Sure, sometimes it’s biological, but more often than not it’s intentional. You get to choose how you intentionally pour your life, experience and wisdom into a new generation. You may not talk over a bale of hay, but perhaps while holding a cup of coffee, driving your kids to their soccer game, enjoying that summer 2021 family vacation or experiencing any intentional activity with your grandkids. Realize, dads, our eyes are open, our ears are tuned in your direction and we are ready to receive whatever you are willing to give. Forego any illusion of perfection — I know growing up I never expected my dad to be perfect. I wasn’t looking for perfection; I just merely needed my dad.
We need our dads, whether biological or intentional, because we need healthy adults in our lives walking alongside us in this journey. We need parents pouring into the next generation. In the church we call that kind of parenting “discipleship” — Jesus followers making other Jesus followers — and that’s exactly what we are championing this weekend.
This Father’s Day is going to be a Father’s Day unlike any other. Not only will we be worshipping on the lawn, but we’ve also got food trucks, free t-shirts, coffee and a whole lot of fun. Maybe you have a kid or a dad or even a friend that needs a spiritual parent in their life. Bring ‘em.
In-person worship is at 10:30am only at the Tipp City and Fort McKinley Campuses. Online worship celebrations will happen at all the usual times and locations.
I praise God for the dads in my life, my own, Rick Fast, but also the many men who’ve helped me to become the Jesus follower I am today!
Happy Father’s Day,