For the record: You don’t have to plow up your corn and build a baseball field to reconcile with your father.
The climactic scene of the movie Field of Dreams offers a powerful portrayal of reconciliation between father and son. With each toss of the baseball and dusty pop into the leather glove, we know that Ray Kinsella and his father are healing past hurts and building a new relationship.
Though the movie relied heavily on fantasy, we still appreciate the emotions of that final scene. And I believe much of the movie’s success can be attributed to the hunger so many people feel for that kind of reconciliation.
Is this just a Hollywood fantasy? I don’t think so. There are real-life stories that are every bit as moving. Listen to this testimony from John:
My father came back in my life after about a fifteen-year estrangement. Six years ago he became ill, and my wife and I took him in and took care of him. Then he went home to be with the Lord earlier this year.
My children had never met this man, and if this had not happened, I would not have known who my father was. It wasn’t always easy, and I thank God for the angel he sent for me to marry. But I’m thankful that my children now know who their grandpa was and miss him very much.
But I want to say that I almost missed it. If anyone has the opportunity to get to know their father, do it. I got a second chance, and that doesn’t happen very often.
In building a new relationship with your father, you are trying to recapture the original design for fathers and sons, but not as a child. You’re a man now, a competent adult, acting on what is true now, not what should have been true when you were six or sixteen.
Just relax and let the relationship re-define itself. Persevere through difficulties; share new experiences; learn to express love to your dad.
But at the very least, I urge you to take John’s advice. Build that connection while you have the chance. Finish that unfinished business.