Every Father’s Day, I take a few moments to remember what a great Dad God blessed me with. On this Father’s day, I’d like to add a new tradition. Since I honored our first mother in this year’s Mother’s Day post, today it’s only fitting that I say a few good words about her hubby, the father of all humanity:
Our theologians have certainly not been kind to our founding father. They imply that he passed down some sort of “sin disease” to all his descendants, and therefore he’s to blame for all the evil in the world. Well, that may be a valid proposition in some squinty-eyed doctrinal debate. But the simple truth is, we all make our own decisions. And we’ve all made a few we’re not proud of, right?
So this Father’s Day, let’s everybody cut Adam a little slack (including all you squinty-eyed doctrinal debaters out there). It’s high time we stood up and showed some respect for this incredible man who is the progenitor of our entire human race.
Adam was quite a remarkable guy. For starters, he was made in the image of God. Pretty impressive. Since God is a spirit, that would be a spiritual image and not a physical one. But by all accounts, Adam was physically attractive as well. And unlike those theologians, artists through the centuries have traditionally painted Adam in a favorable light. The pictures in the Sunday School books always made him look metrosexual (short haircut – smooth shave – no chest hair). But I believe he was more ruggedly handsome than that, and probably a bit more hairy. Whatever the case, I think Eve was pretty pleased with her man. Even if he was missing a rib.
But that’s not all. Adam started a very important tradition that has been carried on by human fathers for generations:
Yes, I hear those groans. You remember exactly what I’m talking about: those monologues that always started out something like, “Back when I was a kid …”, and went on and on and on as our eyes rolled back in our heads. But Dads are doing something very important when they rattle off those boring stories. They are passing down an oral tradition: a history of family, of the values that hold it together and of lessons learned the hard way. All of us can recall that “thing” our Dad always said. We remember it, not only because we heard it over and over one hundred gazillion times, but because that little jewel has actually come in handy more than once. Maybe it even saved our butts a couple of times. And we turn to it again and again in the situations of life, reluctantly admitting that at least once, Dad was right.
Well, Adam never said, “Back when I was a kid” because he was never a kid. But I’m sure he passed down to his children the stories of those early days of creation. Otherwise, how else would we know them today? I can see him now, gathering the kids around, telling them about the beautiful Garden of Eden, how he met their mother, and how the two of them used to walk with God in the cool of the day. He may have bored Cain, Abel, Seth and the others to tears. But he taught them that two people can love each other. And he taught them how wonderful a relationship with God can be.
Of course, Pops also had to come clean about that little, uh, “mishap” with the apple. It took a lot of courage on his part to admit his failures. But he knew it was important for them to understand. I admire Adam for that. Because I know how hard it is to do. I want to leave a good legacy. I want to be remembered well. I worked hard to build that SuperDad image, and I want it to survive. Forever. But Poppa Adam reminds me that in the end, it’s best to go ahead and own up to my (few) shortcomings. 😉
So here’s to you, Adam. You are the Granddaddy of us all, and we are proud to be in “The Family”. As the first father, you taught us everything we need to know about being human: how to love each other, and how to know we are loved by God. Even if we screw up sometimes.
Happy Father’s Day, Adam.