A Father's Delight

Nothing brings more delight to my heart as a father than moments when I see my children stepping into their story. Attending Jonathan's graduation from Spring Arbor University this weekend was one of those special moments. Spring Arbor is a cool environment for young men and women. We heard the university's mission repeated throughout the events of commencement weekend ~ 'critical engagement with our culture for the cause of Christ'. The message landed with Jono and his friends. They are moving back to Atlanta with the dream of bringing hope and healing to the broken and poor of the city. Spending time with this group of grads allowed me to see in them a reality that brought a smile to my heart: A deep conviction that they 'will' make a difference in their world, a passion to follow Jesus with radical abandon, an idealism that accepts no boundaries or limitations, and the freedom of a simple faith that believes the impossible is attainable.

On the flight home I reflected on how much life and time has changed me. I wonder if it's been for the better. Disappoinment. Pain. Heartache. Failure. Injustice. Reality has a way of stealing from us valuable things like deep conviction, radical abandon, unbridled idealism and faith in the impossible. A couple of times as I listened to these grads describing their wide-eyed and wild-of-heart dreams for the future I found strange comfort in thinking that "reality will temper their idealism" as though that is somehow a good thing.

For me Jono's graduation became more than a celebration of the beginning of his story...it was an invitation for me to examine my story. While I think more about 'endings' than 'beginnings' these days, I want my story to reflect the qualities I see in these youthful grads. While I welcome the wisdom of life experience I refuse the erosion reality can bring to my soul.

I smile when I see my son stepping into his story. Something tells me my Father smiles when he sees me sustaining mine.

Fighting for your heart,

Gary Franklin

Reflections for your spiritual journey:

Spend some time this week reflecting on where you find yourself at this stage of our story and spiritual journey.

1. Would you describe your story with words like deep conviction, radical abandon, unbridled idealism and faith in the impossible?

2. If yes take a few moments to thank Father for protecting your heart from the 'erosion of reality'.

4. If no take a few moments to reflect upon why the erosion has occured and ask Father to restore your soul to a place of deep conviction, radical abandon, unbridled idealism and faith in the impossible.