By Rev Don Rivers
The weekend before last we celebrated Father’s Day, but with all that’s going on around us for some this may have slipped through the cracks. I talked to a few people that had forgotten all together. I long for things to just get back to some kind routine again, for some normalcy to return. Somebody turn down the noise! Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We’re getting there. I am glad that racing is making strides to get things moving in a different direction. This past weekend the Whelen Modified Tour celebrated its season opener at Jennerstown, PA. Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford, CT had an open practice and will return to weekly action this week. Many tracks are finally coming to life albeit at a reduced capacity. Something is better than nothing seems appropriate but I long for the day when I don’t have to jump through hoops to walk into the gate of a racetrack. I miss driving up to the gate, being met with a friendly smile and waved in with a glad you’re here. These days I can’t tell what the facial expression is behind the mask.
As I thought of how over the last few months that we have been confined to our immediate households and the family unit I thought of how important the role of father is. How fathers lead their families will go a long way in determining the direction our communities take. I read something that I thought might help us understand the role fathers need to take in the family. These are some running thoughts on an ideal Father.
He loves his wife.
He makes his children feel secure and loved.
He develops in his home a deep appreciation of American traditions and institutions.
He teaches his children that intolerance and bigotry have no place in American life.
He shares in his children’s activities.
He sees to it that he and his family take an active part in community life.
He trains his children for leadership.
He strives to be the man his children think he is.
He teaches his children that our great material blessings are meaningless without spiritual values and ideals.
He has accepted Jesus as Lord and shares his faith with his children.
He is an example to his children in all ways.
I believe the answer to many of the challenges we face begins in the home, the family unit. When the family has a strong foundation it will make a difference in the community and beyond. No dad is perfect but we need more of them striving toward the goal. If you are a dad take a moment and reflect on this list. Ask God, our Father, to help you in the areas that you are weak. He will and you will see the difference it makes in your family.
We have been through a lot over the last few months. It has been made more difficult by the unknown. Shifting views on what is right and wrong in our response to this virus has created a lot of noise. It reminds me of a song from the 60”s; “do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign.”
But that isn’t the only thing that is grabbing our attention and putting us at odds with one another. I am sure the isolation of quarantine contributed to the responses we see all around us. It can be difficult to discern the truth when there is so much noise all around us. So how do we respond, how do we handle the current climate we have in our society today? I am praying that cooler heads prevail and we can have constructive conversations that will lead us to a better understanding of the challenges we face and solutions that restore some semblance of peace.
James1:19-20; NLT; Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
James points out that we have a difficulty with putting our mouth in motion before we put our mind in gear. That reason right there contributes to more issues than we know. I remember being taught to count to ten before you respond especially if something got you agitated. We need to fully understand something before we respond and get angry. If we could just do that we would save the need to apologize so much.
Another danger of shooting our mouth off is that we don’t honor God when we do. When we do not hold our tongue we demonstrate a weakness in ourselves. We contribute to the noise that surrounds us and we have very little chance of being heard. Raising our voice louder isn’t the answer.
I think we all are guilty of speaking before we think. In this time of heightened sensitivity it is more inflammatory than usual. I am suggesting that we need to dial it back a little, listen to what people are saying and when we open our mouths have something worth listening to come out. This is the only way to honor God and live a life that is right in His eyes.
I am looking forward to the days when the masks come off. The days when I can see your smiling face. Until then I’ll settle for being at the track and enjoying some racing. Be patient that day is coming and it is coming soon. Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.