I’m currently (on Aug. 22nd) sitting on a plane and writing this blog for 2 reasons…One being that I just finished reading a book, and for those that know my track record for getting through a book cover-to-cover, you know that this is a feat worth exlamation. J/K…but kinda serious. The other is that this book has been great and I feel that (for the 5 people reading this) it’s worth giving a shout out.

“Stevo, get to the point! What’s the freakin book already?”…

“Sorry, keep your shirt on…” Well, the book is “To Own a Dragon: Reflections on Growing up without a Father” by Donald Miller. Don Miller also wrote (amongst other books) “Blue Like Jazz” which is one of my all-time favorites.

“To Own a Dragon” has been a great book, and I actually finished reading it 20 minutes ago, but turned to page 1 and started over, because I want to recall everything I’ve been reading over the last 6 months (I read it cover-to-cover…but not in a hurry). The book is aimed at men who grew up with out Dads, and how that life can be a instigator in our spiritual lives and the way we look at God as “a Father”.

The first thing to clarify is that I do have a Father. I actually grew up in an amazing home, where I felt loved and supported, was given the world, probably spoiled a bit, etc etc. I love my Dad and he’s been a great role model to me, whether or not he knows it.

“But…if the book is about growing up without a Father, why did you read it?”

2 reasons:
1) It was given to me by a good friend who highly recommended it to me, knowing how much I enjoyed “Blue Like Jazz”
2) I was on the road to becoming a Father.

The book has been great for me because it has shed more light on how important my role as a Father to Adler really is. His very character and direction in life will be affected by the way I lead (or don’t lead) our family. How will I be a Dad to him, and all the while, how will his perceptions of me as “His Dad” shape his view of God as “a Father”. If we believe in the Bible, we know that God is “a perfect Father”, but I know that I’m anything but “perfect”, yet I’m basically like the Santa you take pictures with at the mall…I’m not the real Santa, but if you come to take a picture with me and tell me what present you really want because you’ve been a good boy this year, but I grab the remote and say “Just a minute Kid…Santa’s gotta check the Jets score on ESPN”, then that kid’s view of the “actual Santa” is going to be screwed up from that point on.

There are so many pieces of this that are confusing to me (and probably to you, because of my rambling in this post!), because it’s such a position of responsibility to be a Father…especially given the stresses of life, the busy work schedule…the fact that I’m on a plane to Miami to work Wed – Monday away from home, and so on, make it impossible for me, and my flesh, to perform the act of “perfect Father”. The thing that’s been so great about reading the book however is that it’s helped me realize that it’s my responsibility to give this all to God. Just like every part of my life, I’m not capable of doing it myself. I need God’s provision in all areas, so why would it be any less in the area of being a Dad?

Another area where I’ve been encouraged in this book is the area of “trying”. I think with work being so crazy, I’ve been excited by any instance of coasting in life. In essence it’s felt like life is in control, because the pieces have been coasting on my river of life, even if the flow is faster than normal. The challenge in the book came from Mr. Sleepak (Don’s music teacher in high school), who said “if we are coasting, we are moving downhill”. This hit me hard today because I think that the world tells us that downhill is a good thing (“once you get _______ done, it’s all downhill from there”), and I believe that with work, this can be true sometimes, but I think we use this logic in our relationships too. I guess all that to say, I feel like I’ve taken the “coasting/downhill” thing to heart in my spiritual life, but it’s obvious that God’s not a downhill God. He’s a God that wants to know us and be known, and to know God better means to climb up towards Him, and to continue to learn more about him/build a relationship with him, instead of being content with what I learned about him while in college…

“If we aren’t learning, we are forgetting, if we aren’t getting smart, we are becoming dull”…just another quote from the book that illustrates the above paragraph…plane landing….


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