June 20, 2015

The Shepherd's Corner

THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER

Like many other things in life, fathering is not an exact science. There are rules to follow but abiding by these rules do not necessarily guarantee the expected results. Conversely, violating these rules do not always bring about negative results. Gordon MacDonald, current chancellor of Denver Seminary and former pastor of Grace Chapel, tells the story of James Boswell, the biographer of Samuel Johnson, the 18th century English poet. THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER

Like many other things in life, fathering is not an exact science. There are rules to follow but abiding by these rules do not necessarily guarantee the expected results. Conversely, violating these rules do not always bring about negative results. Gordon MacDonald, current chancellor of Denver Seminary and former pastor of Grace Chapel, tells the story of James Boswell, the biographer of Samuel Johnson, the 18th century English poet.

Once James Boswell went fishing with his dad. That one day trip evidently left so indelible an impression in his young mind that he often mentioned about the many lessons his father taught him on that fishing trip. Unfortunately the story did not end there. Years later someone stumbled upon Boswell’s father’s journal and read the entry he wrote on that day he went fishing with his son, “Gone fishing today with my son; a day wasted.”

To James Boswell it was a special day but to his father it was a wasted day. I simply cannot imagine how James Boswell would have felt, had he known how his dad really thought of that day. But, because fathering is not an exact science, what his father did—regardless of how ignoble his motive was—had brought about an unexpectedly good result. James Boswell really appreciated his dad.

We don’t always do things for and with our children willingly and cheerfully. I am sure there are times we have to drag our feet because we are just not up to it. But, our children appreciate what we do and remember it for the rest of their lives. Nonetheless the exact opposite can also happen. We try to do something for and with our children with the best motive but they don’t appreciate it. Well, that’s OK. Our Heavenly Father can later teach them.

Pastor Paul

Once James Boswell went fishing with his dad. That one day trip evidently left so indelible an impression in his young mind that he often mentioned about the many lessons his father taught him on that fishing trip. Unfortunately the story did not end there. Years later someone stumbled upon Boswell’s father’s journal and read the entry he wrote on that day he went fishing with his son, “Gone fishing today with my son; a day wasted.”

To James Boswell it was a special day but to his father it was a wasted day. I simply cannot imagine how James Boswell would have felt, had he known how his dad really thought of that day. But, because fathering is not an exact science, what his father did—regardless of how ignoble his motive was—had brought about an unexpectedly good result. James Boswell really appreciated his dad.

We don’t always do things for and with our children willingly and cheerfully. I am sure there are times we have to drag our feet because we are just not up to it. But, our children appreciate what we do and remember it for the rest of their lives. Nonetheless the exact opposite can also happen. We try to do something for and with our children with the best motive but they don’t appreciate it. Well, that’s OK. Our Heavenly Father can later teach them.

Pastor Paul

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