I HATE HARRY CHAPIN'S popular folk tune of the mid-seventies, "Cat's in the Cradle." In case you are not familiar with it, it is about a father who reflects on how when his son was small he never took time to play with him because he was too busy. Well, the son grows up and because of his job and family he does not have time for his father. The grown son ends a phone call with: "It's sure been nice talking to you." The father realizes then that his son has become just like he was.
The message is poignant: what goes around comes around. If we are too busy for our kids while they are young, someday they will be too busy for us. And that is why I hate the song. Perhaps I feel a little guilty, now that my daughters are grown. Many pastors struggle to spend adequate time with their children. Although we have always known that our family needed to be a priority, the consequences always seemed so far away. But not so at mid-life.
I have a friend who feels so guilty about the time he missed with ...1