Pick Up The Baton

Is it ever too late to pick up the baton and finish the race?

Men seem to drop the baton more often when it comes to relationships with their children than women do. It might have something to do with the impossibility of two alpha males occupying the same space.

The reality of it is that the sanctity of those bonds were broken from the start. When Adam sinned, he separated himself from his Father God. Unresolved and unrepentant, their relationship resulted in exile.

Many of our relationships end up the same way.

My dad and I were carbon copies. Both strong-willed, hard men of conviction. Not biblical conviction, but committed to what we felt was right according to us. It was inevitable. We butted heads over a heated conversation that resulted in a year lost between not only us, but from those family members who sided with him, and those who sided with me.

The problem was that we’d never communicated. Ever. If there was a problem in the family, then they wouldn’t speak to the offending party. No one intervened or mediated. Battle lines were drawn and hurt feelings and personal pain built up like callouses on your heart.

The problem was resolved when they began talking again. Mind you, the issue wasn’t discussed or hashed out, but at least they were talking. This is what happened when my dad and I dropped the baton. It was a fast and furious pace, but wasn’t heading to the podium, it was heading toward a dead-end.

That baton laid there. For over a year, it suffered out in the open through the storms of life and the winds of change while neither strong man was willing to pick up that baton.

A real track baton weighs 50 grams, which is about two teaspoons of flour. An actual conversation or apology weighs even less than that. Yet, so many people are unwilling to make the effort to pick it up and get back into the race with their loved one.

To finish up my personal account of the baton, it took a serious trial to bring my dad and me back to speaking terms. Unfortunately in that wasted year of personal bitterness, my mother who I’d also not seen had become much weaker in her fight against cancer, and I’d suffered a divorce.

It still plows me over to think what a simple apology would have changed in our’s and so many others’ lives. But in the fine tradition of fathers and sons, the baton was left unlifted.

Men, don’t allow your pride to be as such as to hold anger in your heart. I used to feel like anger actually fueled me. I had no idea at the time that it was so destructive. If you are distanced from your dad and he’s still alive, make the effort.

If you’re distanced from your son, pick up the baton and carry it over to him. If he rejects it, don’t allow the same pride that possibly caused the baton to fall to rage. Lay the baton of humility, regret, forgiveness and love at his feet.

Now allow God to take over.

If all you gain is peace of heart and head, then it’s much better then harvesting such hurt for the rest of your lifetime. Relationships are complex, but allowing God to reign and rule over your life will bring the peace required for either restoration or an acceptance for the current condition.

We’ve talked a lot about fathers and sons of late, and I know it’s because God has placed that burden in my heart for the relationships. It also extends to how you and your wife connect as well as other children and those around you.

Try giving yourself a break from the heavy armor of machismo. Asking for forgiveness requires great courage and strength. Granting forgiveness and blessings does too. Try both. You’ll be amazed at how much stronger you’ll actually become. In no time you won’t even notice the weight of that baton.

Lead from the front,

Scott

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