The Spirit of Father’s Day
by Lawrence Vijay Girard
Some time ago I received a gift from both of my children. It was spontaneous and had nothing to do with Father’s day. Yet, at the same time it had everything to do with Father’s day.
My son, Kai, – he was 17 at the time – was attending a private boarding high school in Colorado. While we were talking on the phone he shared some wonderful news with me.
Kai said, “You know Dad, I am really happy with my life. I can’t think of a thing that I would change about the way that I grew up, or the way that my life is now.”
My daughter Sabari, – also 17 at the time …yes, twins! – , who was living with her mother in Northern California, said almost the same thing to me just a few days later.
Of course, I was delighted to hear this from both of them. What parent wouldn’t revel in the good spirits of their children? And I told them both how happy I was, not only that they were happy, but that they expressed it to me. The heartfelt communication that we shared is as dear to me as the news itself.
And that I reflected was the gift that they were giving me: The gift of heartfelt, open, communication. Certainly I hope for good news when I hear from them. But mostly I love that they will share their real feelings with me. Happy or sad, I love to be touched by their innermost thoughts and feelings. That is how I can really share in their lives.
The spontaneous sharing of my children reminded me of our relationship with Spirit. Our open, honest, heartfelt innermost thoughts and feelings flowing towards our Creator, good news or bad, is at the foundation of our ability to have a real conscious relationship with God.
Many people think that God is present only at a distance. Some think that if God is any way knowable, that knowledge can only come after death. But the saints of all religions have proclaimed that God is knowable here and now if we will just take the time to communicate with Him/Her.
Unfortunately many religious traditions have lost touch with this most essential truth. It isn’t satisfying to the soul to just read or talk about our connection with Spirit. We yearn to actually experience the reality of our relationship with God.
As an earthly father and a child of my Infinite Father I offer this Father’s Day gift to you: A simple reminder that God the Father is real and present in your life. Consciously enter into your relationship with Spirit by inwardly having a conversation with Him/Her during the day. Let God be your inner companion and friend. Let this communication be natural and heartfelt. You don’t have to make deep pronouncements to God – unless you really want to. Experiment with the type of exchange that feels most comfortable to you. The only really essential part of this is that it must be sincere. Even sincere doubt is better than insincere praise.
The highest form of communication is that which bridges the gap between those communicating – creating oneness. It is this experience of oneness that we long for with our loved ones and with God. When we can perfect our inner communication with Spirit we will consciously realize our oneness with all life – everywhere. This won’t be an abstract concept but an actual experience.
For a child, Father’s day isn’t really about giving Dad a gift. It is about recognizing the gift of caring that fathers express when they help put food on the table, teach their child to ride a bike, cheer at a soccer game, smile at a graduation, give their daughter’s hand in marriage, giggle with a grandchild, and most importantly, act as a channel for God’s love to flow through them into the lives of their children.
For a father, Father’s day isn’t so much about taking the accolades of a job well done (even though they may be well deserved!), but about giving thanks for the opportunity to give. And remember, the greatest gift that we give our children is the actual expression of our love. It isn’t enough to feel love for them inside ourselves: we need to express that love. Take a moment each day and give your child the kind of hug that can leave no doubt that you really treasure their presence in your life.
Of course, the greatest Dad of all is the father of all life. So let’s take some time this Father’s day to remember our Heavenly Father. Let’s share our innermost hopes, dreams, challenges, temporary setbacks, and victories. And once we have had our say, let’s listen carefully: For God, the Father of us all, may have a gift in store for us, the gift of awareness of His infinite loving presence in our lives.