Last year, I had an idea for a short movie about the son of Nintendo’s famous Luigi character. A screenplay never came to fruition, but the story concepts were, of course, very personal. It was about a guy who resembled his dad, but saw that as a horrible thing. Like my little rebellious stick-man pointed out, yesterday – I have dad issues :).
A great deal of what I’m going through now is a direct result of that mentality in my own life. I didn’t want to be my dad, so I pushed myself really far in a direction that didn’t actually deal with the issues, but buried them. I’m in an interesting place of coming to terms with the phrase “I am my father’s son”, because in some ways it’s nothing bad (a similar facial expression here or there) and in other ways I’m finally dealing with it (all those darn emotions). I was walking yesterday, though, and I had a very interesting thought pop into my mind…
He’s not my only father.
Sure, it’s not a ground-breaking concept, but I find that, in life, we all have epiphanic moments where we suddenly “realize” something that we’ve already heard a hundred times before. I’ve spent so much time concerning myself with the idea that I am my father’s son, a fact I perceive as a negative, I’ve apparently forgotten that I’m also God’s son.
For every negative that my human dad has instilled in me, as any fallible human dad does, should that be the end-all of my outlook? I am a child of God before and above the fact that I’m a child of John, and is that not the greater power? I suppose, the idea is that I had looked at it from almost a defeatist’s point of view… that “Welp, I really AM my father’s son, and even when I tried (for years) not to be, it took a physical toll so strong that I can’t avoid it.” I was, in many ways, striving for perfection, but of my own doing. It was not a Christian ambition, it was that I didn’t want to screw up my future kids like I’d been – yet, friendships were deteriorating, but I still wouldn’t change. My life was feeling more and more trapped, but I still wouldn’t change. I saw, first-hand, these times when I would nearly have violent eruptions of anger or frustration (always alone, and always contained), but I still wouldn’t change. It took God bringing me to a place where my body just won’t handle any extra stress, for me to face the change necessary.
I find that it’s very human nature to want answers before we can trust or believe. That just makes sense. For me, though, I had to fully trust before I had my answer. With my nerves killing me, I had no choice but to give up my ideals of who I wanted to be, and trust God. Only yesterday, after I had finally been giving in, did He provide me with this understanding as to why He wanted me to.
That unwritten movie I mentioned at the beginning would have ended with the lead character finally coming to terms with the idea of being his father’s son… for all that it entailed – the good AND the bad. It’s not an acceptance that doesn’t continue to move forward and grow, but the funny thing about holding onto these issues.. is that it retards growth and deforms it. I’ve learned many things and changed quit a bit over the years, but because I chose to run from these aspects of myself, they didn’t budge. It’s like when a tree grows around a fence. It’ll keep growing, but it’ll be a bit mangled and oddly shaped. How did Luke Skywalker avoid becoming his dad? Not by standing toe-to-toe and fighting, but by relinquishing control of what he thought should be. At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, his reaction to finding out who his dad really is shows that he’s not happy with it. Who would be. By the end of Return of the Jedi, though, he’s accepted it. If I want to do anything valuable or productive with my life, I have to accept that I AM my father’s son. Yesterday’s semantic reminder, though, put me in a place to be able to tell myself that, “Yeah, but you’re God’s son, first.” I don’t have to fight against who I am just to not be like my dad (because that’ll kill me), and I don’t have to just toss up my hands and give in to every little emotion I have (because that’d be repeating his mistakes), but I can now focus on the third option that’s been there all along. I can do my best, my IMPERFECT best, to be the son that God wants me to be… and that’s what’ll really count.
So, yeah, I am my Father’s son, and I think I can finally trust Him enough to finally deal with the fact that I’m also my father’s son.