Things I know:
- It’s November
- Father’s Day isn’t until June
- I know this because it is always near my birthday
- Next year I will be 40 and I haven’t blogged in a long time
I haven't blogged in awhile mainly because I find it difficult not to jump into the socio-political fray without getting sucked into the rhetoric and losing what God has called us to. Maybe you can easily avoid the quagmire, but it is hard for me. However, I felt an intense desire to jump back into the blog-o-sphere when I reflected on these thoughts today.
At this stage in my life I see all around me people scurrying about trying to make sure we are preserving our freedoms, changing our circumstances and ensuring that our way of life continues as we have it / want it to be here in the US. These are, in themselves, good things. My particular silence regarding this issue has not been meant to be disparaging to those who are in this political fight and certainly not meant to discourage those in the physical fight, but has been an attempt to focus on what is the ultimate answer. I love what Tim Kellar said, and I paraphrase, “You notice that in his writings of prayers for his fellows, Paul doesn’t ask for their circumstances to change”. Neither does Jesus when praying for His disciples. In fact, He asks the Father to leave them here in this world; this world that will want to kill and persecute them for their belief in Him. He says, keep them, sanctify them. As if to say, “They’re gonna need it”. I hope this post doesn't get lost in all the rhetorical arguments but can give an example of what it means to do what God called us to do:
As a young boy I knew my Father was a man of faith. We went to church at each opportunity there could possibly be. He and my mother were then, and are now, very faithful. He was a deacon, a Sunday School teacher, a janitor, children’s worker, greeter, sound tech, you name it, he did it. I watched him as he stood with our pastor as the church tried to route him and throw him out over issues that had nothing to do with the Gospel. (I've seen this more than once) I was too young to remember who stood with him, but to me it seemed like he stood alone (though he certainly didn't).
As I grew, I watched him serve me, my brothers and my mother (as he still does) day in and day out. He would get up at 2AM, drive 15 miles to Dairy Palace and pick us up after work only to get back in bed to rise at 3:50 and drive an hour and a half to work, returning at 6:30PM. At that time he would greet my mother, place his things on the counter and grab a quick shower (his work made him stinky). He then helped get supper on the table. We all sat down and talked about our day. After dinner, he washed the dishes or at least helped. Then he sat in his chair and dozed until mom made him go to bed so he could do it all over again.
During basketball or track season this was all made more complicated by the need to travel and see each and every game, almost without fail. He cheered, he corrected, he encouraged, he drove home, went to bed, got up and did all over again. He went without so my brothers and I could have nice shoes, British Knights no less. If you don’t know what BK’s are, then don’t worry about it, you aren’t that cool either. He wore hand-me-down coats so we wouldn't have to and recycled our shoes when we outgrew them. Old shoes make great work shoes for jobs that make you stinky.
“What does this have to do with anything?”, you might ask. Selflessness. That’s what. We are so concerned over getting what is ours, over preserving our rights, over bettering our circumstances that we have forgotten a very important truth: It ain’t about us. The church’s mandate is simple: Make Disciples. The Christian’s charge is brief: Love God, Love Others, Make Disciples.
I am thankful to have been able to watch my dad make disciples for decades. He has made them at church, at home and at work. If we put as much effort into making disciples like Dad has – with his life – as we do making Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians or Tea Party-ers then homeless people wouldn’t be hungry and orphans would have a home. For a man who rises only a few inches above 5 feet (and I think he is shrinking) he stands mighty tall in my book, a giant of a man. A hero of the faith. I love you Dad.