I have to share an event that happened to me recently that profoundly impacted me and shed lots on understanding my Faith Walk with Our Father.
Are you familiar with the movie ‘Father of the Bride’ (1991) that featured Steve Martin and Diane Keaton, yet it was originally released in 1950 that had Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor. It’s based on a comedy play of the same name by Edwin Streeter.
The gist of the story is that Mr. Banks, the father of the bride, seems to be out of sorts and out of steps in trying to arrange the plans for his precious daughter’s wedding. It seems that everyone in the story knew what was going on, except Mr. Banks. I had the privilege of playing that role in the local Community Theater, so I’m well acquainted with the hoopla that surrounds the father. In the end, all goes well, however, getting there the comedy swirled around the father and the audience was privileged to see is all unfold around him.
In Steve Martins version, we see the father; love his daughter very much, wanting only the best for her as he wrestles between the joy of the moment and the memories of his daughter growing up too fast. At the wedding day, all is arranged; all goes perfectly with the ceremony, and the reception, with the exception that the father of the bride seems to be out of sync the whole day to various events, that keep him one step behind and missing out on everything: including the wedding, their vows, the reception, the father-daughter dance and the couple leaving for the honeymoon. While it is humorous, it is also sad and frustrating for not only the character but you the viewer.
In April of the this year, my youngest daughter, was very excited to come home and visit us for a week. She moved off a year ago and is living in Seattle. It happens to all, life goes on. You raise a family, they all move off. I did. It’s the circle of life.
Yet, she came home for one week, and it was nice to have her home. We didn't do anything fancy, yet, as a father, I was happy to know she was home, and she was in her bed as I left the house each morning as I went off to work. Like it always was for the 1st 20 years of her life. Sweet memories.
Madelyne’s flight was for Friday, (Good Friday) in the afternoon. Here’s where the misunderstanding begins. I knew she was leaving out at or around 5, I didn't know if perhaps we would take her out to eat prior. ‘I thought’ I would get a call or text from my wife or daughter saying they were on their way to the airport or restaurant, and I would meet them. We live 40 minutes from the airport and I work only 10 away, so I’ll hang out at work till I get the word and meet up with them.
So the day goes by, and I’m piddling here and there, Good Friday afternoon, nothing happening important in the business world, so I piddle with this and that, doing ‘make work’ watching the clock and waiting for ‘the call’.
I knew her flight was around 5, so I texted my wife wondering where they were. I waited 10 minutes, no response. Then I texted my daughter the same message, she texts back, ‘Where are you?’ I reply ‘At work, where are you?’ ‘The airport. I’m about to board the plane!’
Right then all my emotions drained, I call her and say, ‘Oh Madelyne, where are you? I’ll be right there. She said, I am boarding the plane you won’t make it. What happened?
That’s when I told her I was expecting a call from Mom or her letting me know you had left the house and were on the way. Needless to say, it was a mis-communication and a misunderstanding on all parties.
She got on the plane and left for Seattle. I got in my car and drove home, alone in a funk. How could I have missed it! I didn't get to say good bye, I didn't get to hug her, I didn't get to tell her I loved her again. I drove home, crying to myself. Got home and still pondered the moments, the hollow feeling, the ache of missing someone you love.
Yes I talked with Abba about it. I wasn't mad, I just was reflecting, deeply. I know that ‘things happen for a reason’ and that ‘there are no coincidences’. That’s when it hit me:
‘Father of the Bride’
I felt like Steve Martin and it wasn't funny. He missed it. Then I could almost hear Our Father say, ‘Rick, My Bride misses me almost in the same way every year’.
It was then I had a slight glimpse into the heart of The Creator, OUR Father, when He said: ‘Oh, that they had such a heart in them, to fear Me and to guard all My commands always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (Deut 5:28)
You see Our Father, ‘The Creator’ has His appointed times He wants to meet with His Children, you can read about them in Leviticus 23. These are His appointed times, yet we were taught they are ‘Jewish’ feasts, ‘Jewish’ Sabbaths. They’re not!
(Lev 23:1-2) And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of יהוה, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these:”
(Lev 23:4) ‘These are the appointed times of יהוה, set-apart gatherings which you are to proclaim at their appointed times.”
(Lev 23:44) Thus did Mosheh speak of the appointed times of יהוה to the children of Yisra’ĕl.
Can you hear Our Father longing for us to meet with Him on His appointed times? We have been mislead over the eons to miss the dates.
His Son didn't change them or do away with them. Father didn't make a mistake when He said these are ‘Perpetual-Forever’ Appointed times. (v 14.21, 32, 41)
Removing errors sharpens our game…. All we have to lose are the errors we hold and then we gain the Truth. There is nothing but shame to be gained by willfully holding on to false opinions.
(1Jn 2:28) ‘And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that He is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him.’