2017 June SGNScoops Rob Patz: Publisher’s Point
Welcome to the June edition of SGNScoops Magazine. Can you believe that we are almost halfway through the year of 2017? It’s hard for me to imagine how fast this year has flown by. When we’re younger, we think time moves so much slower than it really does, and when we get older, we realize how fast time really is moving.
As many of you know, I usually avoid talking about Father’s Day during the month of June in the Publisher’s Point. If you don’t believe me, go back and read past years of SGNScoops. Now that I look back on it, it was not necessary, but each of us mourn the loss of someone in a different way. I’m coming to grips with that, so this month I want to tell you a story about my dad.
My father loved trains, and in fact, my grandfather worked for the Canadian National Railroad as an arbitrator, so trains are in our family. I can remember my father buying me my first train, which progressed to a larger train, and a larger train, and then a larger train. My father would lay on the floor with me, and we would play with these trains. To be honest, I think he was having as much fun or maybe more than I was.
I remember at about eight years old, my dad and I were laying on the floor playing with the larger model train that he had gotten me. Now, I know my dad … he would never miss an opportunity for a life lesson. I think that was the pastor in him. As we were laying there on the floor, he said, “Our lives are a lot like a train. We are on a track to a destination. Unfortunately, some engineers push their train, and those trains derail. They are much like people who push life outside of the speed limit, go too fast for the tracks and miss their station. Then, there are people who stay within the recommended speed. They move along the tracks safely and get to their destination.”
I remember him looking at me and saying, “Rob, that is much like people and our relationship with God. If we try to speed things up and move past what God wants, we are going to derail our life. If we listen to God, who is the ultimate engineer – and stay within the parameters that He has laid out for our lives – not only are we going to get to our location but we are going to get there safely.”
Being a boy of eight years old, at first that story didn’t sink in. In fact, it was many years later before the story really hit home with me. If I remember correctly, my first words after he made this great analogy were, “Hey Dad, can you set up my race car set now, because I can switch lanes, and we don’t have to go around on the same track.” I’m sure my father was wondering if I had listened at all. I wish more than anything he could read this and know that I listened and understood.
So many of us today want to rush to the destination. We want to get to the place that in our mind we think is the most important, sometimes cutting corners on our own convictions, much like the engineer who knows better but still gives the train too much fuel and accelerates past the recommended traveling speed. He knows he’s pushing it to the limit and probably hoping he doesn’t derail. Unfortunately in life, if we cut corners or go past the recommended traveling speed, we more than likely are going to suffer derailment in our lives.
I’m thankful that I serve a God who watches over us even after we’ve derailed. Much like me as as a child, when my train would derail because I would push it to the limit of speed, God is willing to reach His hand down and put our lives back on the track. He doesn’t think twice about it if we ask Him and if we seek to move in the right direction.
So many of us rush through life. I think that’s my biggest regret. I haven’t taken the time to enjoy moments. If I could go back to that moment at eight years old, I would. If I could tell my father I loved him one more time, I would for all the money in this world. So if your dad is still with you, tell him you love him and tell him you appreciate what he has done for you.
I hope each and every one of you have an amazing month of June, and please join me for Vernon Alabama’s Gospel Music Weekend, Sept. 8-9 in Vernon, Ala.
I also encourage you to be with us Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 for Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. It’s going to be an awesome four days of Gospel Music and renewal for your soul.
And that’s this month’s Publisher’s Point.
Read the Publisher’s Point and more in the 2017 June issue of the SGNScoops Magazine: