Many years ago, a gentleman wandered upon a group of friends who were fishing not far off shore from a boat. “Having any luck?” he asked.
“No, we cannot seem to find any fish here,” responded one of the fishermen.
“Perhaps you should try fishing from the other side of the boat,” the first man said with a smile.
They laughed, and even entertained the stranger by throwing the net on the other side. To their amazement, the net was filled with fish. The boat returned to the shore and they recognized the stranger. The group of friends were happy to see a resurrected Jesus standing before them.
God has granted us with a beautiful world within which we live. Though tragedy and outside influences may influence our daily lives, our souls should remain strong and optimistic. There is still much to be thankful for and worth celebrating.
We have many old Christmas stories which remind us of what the true spirit of Christmas is about, although we often forget. It is not the gift we get from others that is important. It may not be the gift we give to others that is important. It is actually the presence of our loved ones and not the presents of our loved ones that is important.
While juggling in my mind’s eye the recent evil which took place, I thought about my own kids. My youngest, Cooper, is coming into his own. My wife is often burdened with Coop’s attention, and I know it can wear her down. The umbilical cord is still attached. But I look upon him as he gains confidence in different areas of life. Little things such as going into martial arts class on his own, or performing his part in the Christmas performance.
My daughter, a blessed soul, is blossoming into a bright, anxious young lady. She loves the time we spend in the outdoors together and anticipates the next hunting season even before this one is done. If not for bugs or her big brother or the occasional scary movie, she would not be scared of anything. Even with her constant reminders of my receding hairline (ok, receded hairline), graying facial hair, and the fact that I may not be as tough as I put on, I love her so. As far as the tough comment, it stems from the fact that tears readily run down my cheeks whenever I watch her dance. It’s a dad’s love, what can I say.
My oldest son, Turner, is maturing into a fine young man. He can drive us crazy at times, but in the end we know we can trust his judgment. When he asked me recently about hunting on his own, I told him he could without hesitation. He texted me during the hunt, sometimes asking advice, sometimes just reporting in.
I guess what I am saying through this is a parent’s job is to ready their kids for society. They need to be able to stand on their own, think on their own, and understand what to do with their freedoms. One of the best feelings is when you can observe that occurring. Too often, we miss that observation.
One of the best gifts may be the time and memories we get to spend with each other. In the woods. On the water. In the field. These times have few distractions. We are together. Just us. We learn things about each other that we likely will not at home in front of the television or while on the computer. Our kids gain experience and we learn what to teach. We do this without realizing it.