Andyouinvitedmein’s Weblog

Dads and Donuts

Posted on: March 16, 2008

As I pondered this blog for the last week, I encountered some job-related issues that have left me sad. In fact most people where I work are sad. In the middle of this sadness all kinds of emotions began popping like firecrackers. Maybe it is a number of hearts exploding because of the stress.

I don’t like those antagonized times that make my view of the world askew, upside-down or marred because of people, past experiences or a momentary situation. For example when I’m depressed I just don’t feel I have anything to offer. Or it might be because of a person—I once had a terrible principal at a school in another state. She made everyone tremble when she entered the building. If I only knew her as a boss then I’d think all bosses were like her. 

Have you ever seen the movie Billy Elliot? With a theme similar to October Sky, it is a movie where someone has a dream to accomplish something.  Soon the whole town embraces this dream as if it was their own. No one is cranky, no one is sad, and no one is out to make someone’s life miserable because everyone’s heart is too full of excitement about what’s going to happen once this thing happens.

When we’re in step with God we’re excited. We aren’t trying to make life miserable for others, but instead we’re simply in love with doing God’s will. I like those special spiritual moments.

Today I’m going to address the various fathers my book And You Invited Me In. There are the good fathers like Wayne Whitley and Tom Hamilton (and presumably Truman Johnson). These father are seens as an example of Christ: loving, forgiving, a giver of grace and mercy.

At the other end of the spectrum are the bad fathers like Bill Marshall. He’s an example of rigid legalism. Instead of drawing his family to him through grace, his rigidity held his children captive through fear and intimidation. In the book, Bill Marshall’s fathering painted God as the God of high demands and unyielding rules. On the other hand Samuel Phillips was a father who put career over family. He was about doing the biggest and best in the name of Jesus, and forgot the very thing God had given him to nurture and raise: his son.

My question is what kind of father makes your heart joyful? Are you looking at God through the donut hole of past experiences of a bad father or rigid family member? Has a religious person put demands on you that make your heart sad?

God wants us to delight in him. He draws us with grace. He loves us beyond comprehension. As we become givers of his grace (and at times it is very difficult) to those who are different from us we’ll begin to feel the total joy of serving him.

So why the title of this blog? If we look through the donut hole our total view of life will have distortion because of our experiences (and because we don’t see the whole situation like with Emily Webb in Our Town). If our father was legalistic like Bill Marshall, we view God as a judge who is always ready to bully us into submission. If our father was like Samuel Phillips, we were put second to everything else in the world. If our father was a Tom Hamilton, then we are better able to understand grace.

Grace is what Christianity is all about. It is what the world is crying out for….and that will be my next blog….

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