“We need more rocks in the river!” Billy, an older and wiser fly-fisherman, used to say that as we approached the Linville River in North Carolina. What he meant was that we needed more stability as we walked upstream. He also meant that in our world, with its relentless torrents, we need people and institutions that hold us fast and give us guidance and wisdom.
As we approach Father’s Day this Sunday, I like the expression — “more rocks in the river.” I think of my grandfather and my father in this way. They were steady, honest, humble, cordial, faithful, loyal, trustworthy, and loving providers.
Not long ago, a young man in his twenties who had struggled through a conflict-ridden childhood, abandoned by his mother and years of abuse by his father, wept as he told me his story. What he missed most was stability. He used an arresting phrase: “Not having a father was like not having a compass in a strange land.”
Ask yourself: Who have been the fathers, mothers, teachers, coaches, mentors, who have provided a life compass as you negotiated growing up? Pause and offer thanks this week. And for whom are you providing stability, a mooring in rough waters, a compass for guidance? To do such a thing for another person is like putting “more rocks in the river.”
Happy Father’s Day.