Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Father's Day Penguins and the Story That Matters

Penguins are cool…counterintuitive little critters.
They have wings, but they use them for swimming not flying. In fact they are the fastest bird swimmer out there at 15-20 mph (try that Michael Phelps).
Penguins dress for the opera, but are actually outfitted for stealth (does that make them the 007’s of the animal realm?)
Penguins live in community and often mate for life.
Dad Penguins are stay at home parents and Moms are career gals.
…And of all God’s creatures, let’s face it, nothing looks or walks like a penguin! They are the Charlie Chaplins of bird-dom.

…This year my wife gave me a Father’s Day card with two penguins on it. In fact the picture I have posted here is the very same picture that is on the card.
Up to this point when I have pictured my self as a penguin it has always been in conjunction with my dear friend Brian. Back in our high school days we were budding Steven Spielbergs making Super 8 movies together (Hey isn’t there a summer movie by Spielberg out just now and having to do with that?) Brian and I formed a film company which we called Penguin Films. We were the two penguins.

I have not thought of Cathi and me as Penguins, but it’s worth thinking about.
In our 39 years of marriage we have certainly been swimming together, sometimes in sync other times not. Calm waters…stormy seas…you get the picture.
But Cathi’s point in giving me this year’s card so pictured has to do with the two birds waddling along together with the immense ocean lapping near by. The picture shows the two birds walking together in the same direction. The ocean is near them and while they are not actually in it, their feet are wet from the surf so they are connected to it.

Here is what Cathi wrote to me in the card,
So many stories take place on the shores of the sea…
Our age has become addicted to “happy endings” for each individual story.
The One Story has an unimaginable ending which is also the beginning of the One Truly Happy Ending. It is that story which will give us all what we long for.

So here’s my take away from Father’s Day. With a nod to Brian MacLaren, which story do we find ourselves in? Is it only about me or you on the beach? Is the surfside story all there is? Is that story all we get our meaning from, have our hopes in or search for the happy ending through? Or is it just possible that we are amblin along in our own little stories while actually on the edge of the big story that really matters? The big story that has all the meaning and the genuinely happy ending (see Revelation 21-22)?
I like to think we are…or at least that our feet are wet from it.
Surf’s up…penguins unite…God’s big story is upon us!
…Check your feet…dry or wet?
Here’s to penguins on the sea shore.
…Thanks for the card dear wife.

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