Someone once said that when we get pre-occupied with just knowing stuff about God our spiritual lives become a bit like trying to view the galaxies through a pair of $5 binoculars. We gravitate towards teaching that shows us what to look for instead of how to look. Methods that speaks things into our ears instead of teaching us how to hear. And viewing things on a screen instead of giving us a video camera to make movies ourselves. The modern church structure tends to be happy to feed us this way. The motives are good and stem from a hierarchical system that wants to pass on knowledge and experience. Like the father/son model. The majority are happy with this model because they feel comfortable with someone in leadership giving them all the answers. It makes us feel safe. We like the duality of good versus evil and black and white theology. We want order, controlled order, even though we read the gospels and know that Jesus created disorder and seemed comfortable about his messy mission. Then we bring in the Holy Spirit and everything goes pear-shaped. The prophetic creates futures that don’t seem ordered or sometimes sensible. It’s fun though isn’t it?
Fathers then hold a very important space in this paradigm to encourage, listen and promote rather than only to teach and direct. These are the type of Fathers that the scriptures tell us are in short supply. It is the unusual father who will allow the son to dissemble the well-worn path and hack through the bush to find a new way. The good father is there to encourage and to wipe his brow. To throw the party when the venture is in harvest mode and to make up the spare room when the son needs to return to the fold.
Lord make us mothers and fathers like that. Not holding on to our pride or property but giving all generations the green light to be pioneers of the new.