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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: A father’s guidance

My dad lives about an hour away and we see each other for holiday gatherings and occasionally for lunch. It is always a good time when we can get together. We share our news, catch up on life events, and share a few laughs.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

My dad often sends me articles or video links that he thinks I will find interesting. Some challenge my beliefs, while others reinforce what I believe. Either way, it opens the doors to a discussion about the topic. Often, we find ourselves on opposite sides of the topic. He might even take the opposite side if he thinks it will create a more interesting discussion. This skill helps me to strengthen what I believe with supporting thoughts.

My dad has always had strong political views. While they have changed some in his golden years, they are still strong and vibrant. My dad loves to watch the political pundits and will exuberantly engage in any political hot-button discussion with whoever is within earshot. I am less politically motivated and avoid this topic with my dad.

My dad likes to talk about religion, too. He recently sent a video link from his Sunday school class. His teacher was discussing how the church has been affected by the pandemic and how we must consider doing church differently if we plan to engage people. She brought up a very interesting question for people to ponder: Is the church the building we go to each Sunday or the people who attend? Dad and I have yet to have that discussion, but I am looking forward to it.

My dad enjoys playing golf, and in his retirement plays several times a week. Some of my best memories with him are on the golf course. Several times in my childhood we had houses that backed up onto golf courses, and we would go out and play a few holes after dinner some evenings. We also did a lot of ball hawking, which is what we called searching for golf balls. I have fond memories of my dad on the golf course.

My dad has always had a different way of looking at things, which comes in handy when you are trying to make big life decisions. He can draw on his own life experiences to help you see things from many different angles. His unique perspective can help you avoid pitfalls and problems that you may not have anticipated. I may not have always taken my dad’s advice, but I can look back on some specific times I did and I am thankful.

I have never been a dad myself. I always wanted to be a dad. I am not sure whether I would have made a good one or not. I hope that I wouldn’t be one of those helicopter parents. I am sure I would have developed the skill of worry if I had kids.

I did get a little surprise this year for Father’s Day. Several of the young adults at our church brought me Father’s Day cards. It was hard to keep the tears from leaking out as they approached me and gave me these cards. One of the cards thanked me for being a great uncle. The young man calls me Uncle Doug.

Each of these young adults, in their own unique way, thanked me for taking time to listen to them, showing concern when I could see they were struggling, offering guidance to them as they made life choices and encouraging them to pursue their passions and dreams. I guess those are qualities of a good father, and maybe to some degree I do possess them.

I think we all need someone we can lean on for some good advice, whether it is our father, a spiritual leader, a good friend or our Heavenly Father. I think we often choose a person or people in our lives instead of going to our Heavenly Father. The truth is that God wants to speak into our lives and give us His heavenly perspective on our life situations. If we would only stop and look to Him, He would give us the best guidance.

I want to encourage you to look to your Heavenly Father for whatever is troubling you today. He cares about you and your situation. He sees your circumstances in ways you can’t. He always makes good plans for your future. So turn to Him and listen for His voice. Your Heavenly Father loves you far beyond what you can imagine. Put your hand in His and trust Him to guide you into a wonderful future.

Doug Creamer has a new book at Amazon: “EncouragingU: Summer Stories.” Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.