Our Father

Last night, around the dinner table, Susan and me and the boys were having a discussion. Apparently, sometimes when the boys need to get their mother’s attention, they refer to her as “Susan.” My oldest boy mentioned it, and he said it with a smile. I said to him “I’m glad you say that with a smile, because generally I wouldn’t want you calling your mother by her first name.” We talked about Frank Zappa’s children, and how they all apparently refer to their father as “Frank.”

I had a discussion about this with a guitar playing friend–a huge Zappa fan–who said it came from this idea in the ’70s that you treat your children as little adults, and so Frank trained his children to call him Frank. I was raised to never call my parents by their first name. My aunts and uncles were always “Aunt Ginny,” or “Uncle Roger.” Once in church, my Aunt Suz called me out because I told the congregation “If you have any questions, see Suzy Batty.” And she said “Aunt Suzy.” Even if I was just trying to be clear to those people to whom Aunt Suz isn’t their aunt, I was supposed to still call her “Aunt.”

I’ve taken this teaching one step further with my children. I’ve explained it to them like this: “There are three people in the entire world who get to call me “Dad.” Three. And you’re one of them. Anyone can call me ‘Bill.’ To you, I’m ‘Dad.’ Don’t take that lightly. Instead, be glad.”

Take a look at Luke 11. The disciples ask Jesus “Teach us to pray.” And then he says to them, “When you pray, say ‘Father, who art in heaven’…” (Emphasis mine.) Jesus doesn’t say “When pray, pray ‘Father.'” No, He tells them “When you pray, call Him Father.” Of all the names God could insist we call Him, He wants to be called “Father.” He doesn’t ask to be called Lord, or LORD, or King, or God, or Master, or any of those things. And He could rightly demand that we address Him as such. If I were to address the president, I’d call him “Mr. Obama,” or more likely “Mr. President.” If I would give the POTUS the respect he deserves, wouldn’t I offer the same to the God of the Universe? Of course. And yet, He doesn’t ask us for that. He deserves that, but instead He wants us to call him “Father.” The fullness of God’s glory is recognized through the Son. And the Son says “Call him Father.” How awesome!

2 Comments

  1. Taiken

    My Mom was even more specific she was to be called Mom not Mother. No matter the form if we are to respond with love and respect we will not only want to do this to please them but do it because it feels right in our heart of hearts. Love is the best reason to do what we are asked to do. Thanks for sharing you made me think and I will be addressing my father in heaven appropriately from now on. Showing the love and respect he so richly deserves.

  2. Hello, my name is Jesse Carraway aka DrumMechanix. For a number of years I built custom Speed Kings. Was doing almost 200 a year which was too much for a supposedly retired guy. Built two for Charlie Watts even. Over time, I acquired about a dozen Ghost pedals, love the design, and am curious what I can do to perhaps “soup them up” like I did SKs. One has the cap off and I can see the deeply recessed groove for the snap ring..ugly. I have a well equipped shop and know which end of a screwdriver to hit with. Any clue you can give me for cap removal sure would be appreciated. FYI, just, for myself, finished a full (12 total) metal shielded ball bearing SK. It is unbelievable…smooth, fast and not a tick of play or slop, The pedal Ludwig should be making now instead of the Atlas…Thanks, Jesse

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