Bell Rock Lighthouse, Scotland

Tarbat Ness Light, Scotland

No matter how hard he tried, Robert couldn’t get interested in the family business. Although his grandfather, father and uncles had carried on the tradition of engineering, Robert fought pressure to join them in the trade.

From the time of his youth, Robert had accompanied his father Thomas, sailing the sometimes turbulent seas around Scotland to build lighthouses on the coastline. The beauty of the scenery waxed poetic for young Robert, providing his imagination with settings for stories. But his desire to be an author plus his poor health removed him from the hard work of lighthouse-building. The experiences on those journeys, though, were stored in his mind to be used later when he began writing. Perhaps you remember Treasure Island, or Kidnapped?

Yes, this was the author Robert Louis Stevenson, whose family was a dynasty of engineers, specializing in lighthouse building. The Stevenson family is responsible for building 97 lighthouses on the coast of Scotland, many still operating. But Robert followed a different path and became an author.

Even if one doesn’t follow in choice of occupation, following in a father’s footsteps can mean carrying on the father’s habits. Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes it’s not, depending on the character
of the earthly father. It’s a choice we have to make, despite the examples we grew up with – do we follow the good habits or the bad?

Earthly fathers have faults, but our heavenly Father does not. Jesus followed the will of his father, his good and perfect will. As he said in John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him (my Father) who sent me.”

As we look toward Easter, we remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. In the same way he followed the will of his father, we too, can decide whom or what to follow. Which path will you take?