I received a present for Father's Day from my wife about a week ago. (Since the kids are now young adults, almost 24, we began buying each other gifts for the days we celebrate, Mother's Day and Father's Day specifically.) The gift was a Garmin Forerunner 225. You might call it a wrist watch because of where it is worn, but it is far more than that. Having run marathons and having been someone who runs since about 1985, this is a tool to track activity as you define it.
I began with a Casio during the height of my running days. The first Casio I had would count up to 30 laps which meant if I went for a 15-mile run, I could track each mile by hitting the lap button on the watch. Of course that made it incumbent on me to know where the miles were to hit the button, so you tended to train on marked courses, like public parks (in Houston or just about every town except Lubbock). Yet a marathon covers more territory than most parks (even large parks like Memorial Park in Houston). When a former pastor and I began training for his first marathon (my third), we went and bought flags used to mark sprinkler heads and drove about our course with a can of spray paint and the flag, spraying the number on the side of the road and placing the flag there. That provided us a method for measuring where we were in our run and hitting the lap button on the watch. Once done with a longer run, you go back and look at the mile pace and learn where you start slowing down.
With this Garmin? I don't touch a button, it links with satellite and charts my course as I run. It tells me when I am at a mile. It tells me what my heart rate is. It tracks elevation marks, so I can see where I've gone from lowest to highest. If I use it to its fullest, I can merge it via android or online to track calories, sleep patterns, golf, hiking miles and elevation, and an abundance of everything else. The fact is it is hard to fudge training with this watch, unless of course I give it to the next door neighbor who plays all day (warms my heart to see that) and use his activity in place of mine while I sit and enjoy a frosty beverage and a cigar. I just really cannot lie with this watch, and I am fascinated by tracking such stats (longest run to date has been about 2.75 miles so I really do not run like I used to).
The only thing that can keep me more honest than this watch is Christ himself, who knows my every move. When our pastor, teaching Revelation, asked about how many people really think about the day of judgement, a few hands went up, but most of us sat with our hands down. He wondered why? My simple belief is we have absolutely nothing to anchor the concept to. You could compare it to dad coming to deliver punishment for an act, but that was temporary. Christ will judge us on our actions he knows, the things we will have no ability to argue with, and will do so swiftly and permanently. There will be no representation, no scales of justice, and I have no ability to rebut or debate the point. Even the most guilty of earthly crimes has his day in court, so how do I have an ability to even begin to understand that day?
Fathers, this Father's Day is important for a variety of reasons, but your main purpose on this earth is to prepare your family for that day. "These words I command you today shall be on your heart. you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit at your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6) Our families are our primary responsibility. The command is not gender specific, but scripture details the role of the father in this. When he looks at us and says, "As you did it to the least of these..." (Matthew 25), look around your house at your family and know that is ground zero and it moves out from there.
Pray we take our roles as husbands and fathers, the spiritual head of the household, with the love and seriousness as it has been given to us.
Hope Men's Ministry