The best Father's Day I ever had while I was growing up was a Sunday that started out with breakfast in bed for my dad. My brother and I assembled assorted items on a tray, including some powdered, instant orange juice, and happily served it to my father, who obediently consumed it all.
After church, we headed down to the beach as part of our Father's Day celebration. My dad worked hard Monday through Saturday, year after year, getting up before we all were awake in order to make his long commute. So, as soon as we arrived at the beach, I knew he just wanted to sit still, rest, and maybe read. But after my brother and I started playing catch with a baseball, we pestered him to pitch to us. So he gathered up our stuff and took us to a nearby high school and pitched batting practice to us for hours.
Now I'm a father myself – in fact, my kids are grown. The father/child relationship I have with my daughter and son brings such substance to my life that I can easily understand now why my dad would walk away from his comfortable beach chair to exhaust himself on the pitcher's mound that day. To be a father is a great joy.
I think lately I'm understanding more about why this is so. God's fathering is so constant, so wonderful. Our Father is the source of spiritual, useful qualities, such as joy and strength – and, especially, encouragement. These qualities are available for me, and for anyone, to express anytime. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning," says the Bible (James 1:17).
I appreciate how the Bible describes God as a Father "with whom is no variableness." My father passed away many years ago, yet my life still constantly overflows with God's fathering. Our Father never leaves, never is absent, even for two seconds. I may feel father love myself and express the fatherhood of God with my own kids, but more often it's with people to whom I'm not even related. I guess that makes sense since we're all in the Father's worldwide family.
One other helpful aspect of divine fatherhood is seen in the Bible's commandment: "Honour thy father and thy mother" (Ex. 20:12). To me, this goes beyond obedience to parents. It is to honor and be grateful for the fact that God is our only Creator and Parent. As God's children, we are created spiritually. And spiritual creation is never threatened by hereditary ills or any other trouble that might seem linked with our parentage.
We're not products of matter and DNA; we're conceptions of divine Mind, which is Spirit and Love. A Father who is Love itself never would include susceptibility to evil in His creation. Although not everyone yet fully realizes this, one by one, we each can lead the way by honoring our Father and everything He has done and is doing for us.
Now, my best Father's Day can be any day I choose it to be. It's Father's Day anytime I'm conscious of living as a transparency to God's unvarying fatherhood. It's Father's Day anytime I spot God's loving fatherhood expressed by another person. It's Father's Day whenever I gratefully acknowledge spiritual creation anywhere I see it. The same goes for you. So, happy Father's Day!