Monday, October 18, 2010

The Art of Parenting - Discipleship

A father stands on the shore of a small pond teaching his son to cast lures. In his hand a white Shakespeare rod with a Phantom Pflueger spinning reel. On the end of the leader a red and white Daredevil "spoon".

The father carefully shows the "finger grab" to hold the line after the bail is opened - one of the tricks of the trade. His son lifts the pole over his shoulder; quickly thrusting the pole - releasing the finger holding the line and remembering to follow-through - pointing the tip of the pole out at the horizon. The quite buzz of line plummeting past the guides. It's as exciting as watching a grand-slam arc over the fence. Suddenly, there is a faint splash. The perfect cast! Father and son congratulate each other as the younger one reels in the line.

This week your Kingdom Bloggers are writing about discipleship. Evangelicals often focus on getting saved, and little else. The Bible, however; says to make disciples.

It was a sunny day at a pond not to far from our home. Dad and I stood casting lures. Later we took a break sitting on the field-stone dam; listening to the water falling to the pool some distance below. The smell of pine trees was in the air. There we were eating sandwiches with one eye on the line, talking about which lures were best, and what we would do when we hooked the big one! I don’t think that we caught anything at all day. Actually I guess the fishing wasn't all that important if I don't remember whether or not we caught fish. I do remember we were together, dad and I— yes, I remember that. Over 40 years has passed since that day and dad is gone now; he has been since 1998. But I remember that day. How I wished it would have never ended.

Discipleship is like that. It is one person parenting another - teaching, breaking bread, sharing, talking, doing, enjoying - growing in intimacy with Jesus.

For many years I have been in the church, and honestly, few people have invested in my life. I often think how different things could have been, had there truly been someone that I could trust, hang out with, and learn from. How different life might have been if my fishing teacher had not been an alcoholic. At this point it is all water over the dam.

Recently I have been attending a new church and for the first time in my church life, it seems to matter to someone besides me that I walk in my God given destiny. Previously, it has been about joining a church, and filling a slot. Here it is about fulfilling a destiny - one that I am passionate about.

Yesterday's service was amazing. More amazing was that the my pastor; a spiritual dad, had me minister in the elders meeting. At the end he told me that he loved me and was proud of me. That's the beginning of real discipling.

How about you, have you had a father or mother in the faith? Tell us about it.


Anonymous said...

Good morning David,
I would have to say I have not had what I imagine ONE spiritual mother would be...I have seen others have such a woman and I longed for such a relationship. My idea would be...probably an older woman who was wise, was one who walked in wisdom and faith, encouraged me, loved me when I was unlovable, saw my gifts and encouraged me to develop them and corrected me when I needed it, was kind and accepted me for who I was...YET...the Lord has provided women along the way and I would say that they are a composite of what I had in mind.
The relationship that I think comes the closest to what I envisioned, was years ago in AA and that was my sponsor. Even though I was not a Christian then ( in my early days of AA) she was "there for me" in so many ways...when I was at my weakest and most vulnerable state. I owe so much to her. She has passed on but I will forever be grateful to her for what she deposited in my life. It was an HONEST relationship.
I miss AA sometimes...the member's goals there were Honesty Openess and Willingness. I think the Church could learn something from their model.
So, I know this is long, but I feel the Lord has provided women for me, in the past and in the present, that have invested into my life.
( yes Joyce, that's you!!!)
*Just an aside* when you were talking about fishing, I thought of a mentor teaching me to throw out the line and that I got all tangled up in it. Yet because I had a patient teacher, in them, they were not angry...they knew I was new at this and helped me untangle myself and try again...Oh that WE would be a disciple to others like this.
I am glad you found someone who is providing some wind beneath your have a LOT to offer

David-FireAndGrace said...

@Linda - Yes, as I approach the 30-year mark in AA - thought I went a meeting recently; I have not been a regular for nearly 10 years now. I did notice that in AA there always seemed to be someone that cared if you lived or died. You are right, the church could learn a lot by that sort of commitment, honesty, and openness.

joyce said...

Somehow, when you get a group of people who truly understand they are powerless and are willing to make fearless moral inventories, it becomes a lot easier to be open. At church so many are interested in looking good in one way or the other -- to perform well... like a well trained pet ...
I've never been in AA but you are both right - we need to learn something from them.
I think we all need someone who will get down where we really live and love us there.