Being a dad can be a challenge. This is my 6 year old daughter Natalie. She is a lively little girl with a great outlook on life. Last night she finally pulled out one of her front teeth that was loose. It was in that moment that I realized she is growing up. One day I will watch her grow into a beautiful young woman. This thought brings feelings of both joy and sadness. The reason for this reflection is that father’s day is coming up this weekend and I suppose this has been bouncing around in my head lately. As the years roll on, I struggle to be a good father and many times…I fail. That is the nature of the beast. We are all too human and we will let our children down, just like our fathers let us down. I have friends who occasionally grab a beer with their dad and seem to enjoy the time they spend together. I also have friends that don’t have a clue who their father is or where he lives. When the outcomes of human fatherhood can be as varied as these two examples, what do we make of Jesus’ claim that God is our father and that he wants to give us good gifts? Like allot of other things he says Jesus seems to imply something very profound in a very concise, simple statement. Here is an example where not all fathers will measure up to the standard of a good God who takes care of his children. Just as I don’t always measure up to that standard, the metaphor itself (of God as a father) doesn’t seem to meet the standard either. God may be correctly thought of as a good father but the emphasis should be placed on the former not the latter. It is his goodness that sustains us and gives us life, not his “fatherhood” per say. Other working metaphors such as mothers and grandparents could be replaced when were talking about God from outside the text itself. Father’s may fail us or they may do good, regardless it is no easy job to raise children. There are challenges that I never imagined and now that Natalie has her 1 month old baby sister (Maya) at home there are allot of sleepless nights and long hours filled with crying. But hey, Its all good. My faith journey is a work in progress but fatherhood is one connection point between my life and the scriptures that is a constant source of inspiration and motivation. One look in my daughter’s eyes and allot of my naive, nihilistic assumptions about life are not important at all. It is in that moment that as a parent you know what you should do. You just hope you can follow through with the task at hand. If you are a father or if you have a father, reflect on the nature of that relationship this father’s day. For all the hardships we may face we should realize it’s mothers and fathers that keep pushing this experience we call life forward. To be a father is to be in the company of the creator.