We shared a love of sports, especially baseball. Not many sons have a good experience being coached by their dads, but I recall mine being good. Later I had the privilege to coach with him. In fact, I believe the last time I played golf was when we played together. Every time we were together the conversation always migrated to whatever sport was in season, and, of course, how we would be a better coach, manager, or executive than those employed by our favorite teams.
My dad was a strong man, in body and will. He was a steady provider. Like every father – son tandem we butted heads often as I grew up, but the older I got the wiser he got. In the end, we enjoyed what I believe to be a great relationship. I love my dad and even though almost 2 years have separated us from his passing, I still miss him very much.
As I thought about my dad this week, I thought about the things he taught me and the things (good and bad) I picked up from him. The most important and the one for which I am most thankful, however, is that my dad left me a spiritual heritage. A Bible always occupied the table by his chair and he made sure to read it most nights before he went to bed. My dad and mom took (not sent) us to church faithfully, and they ensured our family received a solid biblical training. They sacrificed greatly so I could go to a Christian school, receive a Baptist (at least nominally) college education, and graduate studies to prepare me for a lifetime of church ministry. On two separate occasions, my dad escorted me on the long drive to seminary only to return home alone. I still feel the emotion of both of those times.
My dad believed in Jesus through thick and thin. No pseudo-intellectual could shake his faith. No life experience could cause him to turn back. Others in his family waxed and waned in their belief, but he remained steadfast. He served faithfully in various positions of lay leadership until the nature of those positions drifted so far from spiritual significance that they became a waste of spiritual attention. That was his character. If it wasn't authentic and genuine, he would just as soon not be involved. I gladly follow in his footsteps. I will NOT turn back.
My reflections this week have led me to thanksgiving to my heavenly Father for giving me my earthly father. I hope I made him proud and I hope I leave for Bekah the legacy of spiritual strength he left for me. May all who come behind me find me faithful.
1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
2 I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
4We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
5He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
6that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
7so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments.