When life hits you hard ...
There are times when life hits you hard. Everything seems to go bad within a short amount of time.
All of a sudden you have a $3000 medical bill, your accused at work for something you didn't do, you lose your job, your car breaks down, the credit card gets racked up and so on. My Dad always said, "When it rains, it storms."
Sometimes as a father we make decisions we regret. Sometimes we make hard decisions in our careers and these hard decisions lead to harder times. Perhaps harder than expected. Sometimes we want so much for our children in this land of opportunity, but we just can't afford it or we go in debt and give it to them anyways.
There are times when we come home and what we really need is for our wives to connect with us, affirm us, be with us, but instead we lash out because the weight of responsibility is so much and we don't have answers for our problems.
There are times we come home exhausted and we have to help with supper, clean up, do bedtime routines, and then shovel the walk. It is 9:30pm before we get a chance to sit down. And we wonder what the heck is going on ...
It is in these times that we are formed. It is in these fires that that our masculinity is forged. It hurts. It's confusing. Our insides reel, we don't sleep well, our eyes burn during the day and we are curt with our loved ones. The fire purges.
The weight of responsibility in raising a family, providing for them, training them in virtue, educating them and fathering them is great. Not a burden. But great. Add fire to the mix and a weak man could break. Many do.
What should a man's response be in these times?
It is easy to drown it in drinks. It feels good to speak negatively and expect the worst. But ... I think ... I'm learning that the answer is far simpler ...
My wife told me tonight that I need to stop and just give thanks. We have so much to be thankful for. In the midst of the fire - give thanks.
Sometimes my wife is wiser than I (well maybe more than sometimes). Gratitude doesn't solve my problems. But it does change the perspective, my attitude, my response and leads me to pray.
It is a good place to start.