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What Does “To Be About My Father’s Business” Mean in Today’s World?


As Father's Day approaches, memories of my father come to mind. When I was 24, and he was 46, he suddenly and unexpectedly made his transition. It was at a time where we had started to move beyond a father-son relationship; we were becoming friends.


There is one memorable experience that stands out to me. In elementary school, my teacher gave us a homework assignment to write a poem. I had little or no interest in poetry and felt incapable of completing the assignment. I told my dad how I felt and was adamant that I could not do it. At some point, he said, "Deep down don't you believe, at least a little bit, that you can do this?"


After thinking about his question, I told him, "Absolutely not. I don't believe I can do this." My father said something I would never forget when he replied, "Then believe in my belief that you can do it."


That's all it took for me to believe I could do it. My father then helped me write a poem about my favorite sport at the time — baseball. It was good enough to be published in a magazine for young writers.


I was blessed to have a father who had that kind of belief in me. Based on counseling people over the years, I also know that some folks did not have that kind of support from their fathers. For some, their fathers died before they could understand them. Others have shared that their fathers either left them or were abusive.


Yet master teacher, Jesus the Christ, gave us another perspective on fatherhood when he said, "Call no one your father on earth; you have one father — the one in heaven." He later said we are, "to be about our father's business." Of course, when Jesus spoke of heaven, he did not refer to a place. Instead, he was referring to Divine Ideas, and to be about our Father's Business is to do what is necessary to express those Divine Ideas in our life and world.


In Taoist philosophy, a concept known as Yin and Yang represents two complementary aspects of life. Yin, among other things, is the creative aspect of life that broods tenderly over an idea and holds it until it is ready to be made visible. Yang is the manifestation of the idea.


To be about our Father's Business is a reminder that we have a divine mandate to express heaven or ever-expanding good in our life. When we do, we bring into our world what God metaphorically sees when we and all of humanity are at our highest and best. This presence believes we can do this because its essence is who and what we are. This business is our mission if we choose to accept it.


We are going through one of the most significant paradigm shifts in contemporary history, both here and around the world — heightened political and cultural divisions, climate emergencies, people experiencing homelessness, and beneficial and potentially detrimental breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), to name a few. As inheritors of God's business, we are to move into the space where we hear and see the divine mandate from Spirit and be so fulfilled by it that it compels us into the right action. We are to be and do all that is needed to anchor heaven on earth during this time of significant change.


As we think about Father's Day, not only do we appreciate those earthly fathers or father figures that support or have supported us, but we also remember that even if we did not have that earthly support, there is a presence that can never leave us or forsake us and is seeking to express in and as us. Most importantly, it always believes in us even when we don't fully believe in ourselves.


Peace and Blessings,

James


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