Sunday, November 11, 2012

Investing Or Moving On

My little church had a father-daughter dance tonight. I sat next to a Marine that joined our church recently and who I am just getting to know. As we were chatting he told me that though they’ve been in ‘29’ since 09 they were supposed to move to Camp Pendleton next year. My internal reaction was mixed; I felt bad that the relationship wouldn’t go longer and deeper. I felt hesitant to invest any more time. That connection won’t last. Looking around the room I had a different feeling and thought.

I’ve been in the desert seven years and my wife is going on two. Our plan is to leave when the daughter graduates. Yet each year we are here the roots go deeper and the connections stronger.

As I looked around the room I saw all the fathers dancing with their daughters; the men in jackets and ties, the girls in party dresses. I know the stories of so many of the men that were there tonight. As the music played and I looked around I thought of the stories that will go forward.

A mix of fathers was in the room with a mix of daughters; step daughters and nieces. I know the dad’s in the room love their daughters. You know though that all will parent imperfectly and some will make catastrophic mistakes. God willing the daughters will grow up morally strong and rich in character. If you’ve been around the block a bit you know that there will be children going astray and hard stories along with the great ones.

As God keeps us here we will be part of those stories. At this juncture I don’t know if we will keep these connections or move on. Today we invest and pour our lives into those of our friends. Tomorrow we wait to see if our orders are to march away or stay connected and grow deeper roots.

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