Cat’s In The Cradle

November 06, 2008

“Fathers, don’t make your children bitter about life. Instead, bring them up in Christian discipline and instruction.” – Ephesians 6:4

Perhaps the most common lie from which we all suffer is the belief that there is plenty of time to focus on relationships that count. The tragic reality is that is rarely the case. Harry Chapin’s classic ballad follows a man who is just too busy to enjoy his son growing up. He loves his child, for sure, but just like many of us he feels he must focus on his work and goals and life – for the good of the family, no doubt. On the boy’s tenth birthday, the boy begs his father to go in the backyard and play catch with the ball and glove he had just given him. “Not today, got a lot to do,” was the response. But the boy seemed to understand. And as he watches the father he idolizes walk away, the boy smiles and vows that “I’m gonna be like him, yeah, you know I’m gonna be like him.”

Many years pass, the father has retired, and the boy now has a family of his own. Dad calls and asks to see him. “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time. You see, my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu. But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad,” is the reply. “It’s sure nice talking to you.” Dad realizes that his son’s wish has been fulfilled, and “He’d grown up just like me. My boy was just like me.”

Time cannot be postponed, only lost. The time to nurture relationships is today.