Thursday, June 24, 2010

Belated Reflections on Father's Day

I recently took the train to Ann Arbor, MI to hang out with my family. We were celebrating Father's Day. My youngest sister Jackie lives in Ypsilanti, MI. She and her husband are truck drivers and they usually spend their time hauling loads all around the country. She was a short order cook in a previous life and loves to cook. She has recently bought a HUD house that she fixed up. It is her pride and joy.

It was great seeing family that I have not seen in a while. And the food was great!

It is so easy to take our loved ones for granted, to be short tempered and ill acting toward them or worse yet to ignore and neglect them. One is particularly vulnerable to this if you live away from your family like I do. I call my children, my daughter in law, my mom and two of my sisters. I talk infrequently to my brothers and my other sisters and almost never call my nieces, nephews and cousins. I usually wait until family reunions and holidays to see everyone.

So one day when three of us were on the phone we talked about putting together a small BBQ to bring everyone together. This BBQ would be a way to let the fathers in the family know how much we love and appreciate them. It would be a small gesture but imagine if we were more intentional about doing this in various aspects of our lives? What a difference it would make.

Besides seeing everyone and falling off my diet, Sunday I had the opportunity to hear my younger brother preach and hear his testimonial. He was saved at 19 years old. He will be 50 next year. As he tells the story, my mother had given up on trying to make him a productive citizen and well rounded human being. So she decided to turn things over to god. At the time he thought that was the best thing that could have happened. He was coming and going when he wanted to and hanging out with his buddies, smokin' and drinkin'. Then he got in trouble and was facing 5-15 years in prison. That was when he took a hard long look at his life and decided to in his words, "serve god and not the devil".

While our theologies are very different and I do not believe in heaven or hell or the devil I love his very compelling testimonial. Life has a way of getting our attention! We can heed it or ignore it. The choice is ours! Intentionality and taking responsibility for our lives is key to creating happiness in life.

Q. How can you step up and take more responsibility for those things you want to change in your life? What is your pattern of change? Do you resist change? Do you wait until things get so bad that you have to have the universe/god knock you on your behind before you take action?

Q. What do you need to change in your life to fully be the loving and wonderful human being that Spirit/god is calling you to be? Who are you called to be in the world?

Blessings! Rev. Qiyamah

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