A WONDERFUL FATHERS DAY to all of you!
What can make one’s life growing up more wonderful than a Father who follows the Father?
JOIN ME in this special FATHERS DAY salute to those fathers who not only sacrifice of themselves for their families, but who follow the one who laid down his life in the ultimate sacrifice, that being Christ, humbly submitting and yielding himself to HIS Father, God.
What a blessing my father was to me. Dad was a GM assembly worker for 30 years, and early in my childhood, to me, he RAN the place! Not really, but Dad was the all-around “Fix it guy”, and there seemed to be nothing he didn’t know or couldn’t fix. In a lot of ways I think I got to be what I am by my admiration of this part of him. My pride in him made me want to BE like him. There were many times I would be nearby when he was working in the yard, in the garage, or on the house, and he would explain what he was doing and why. Granted, I was so young during most of this that I didn’t even realize that he was training and teaching me, but he was. And for the longest time- even now- I can hear his voice telling me how certain jobs get done.
When we were disobedient, or rebellious, our correction usually came quickly, but we didn’t live in FEAR., because we knew above all else that he was CONSISTENT. If WE did wrong, our punishment had already been foretold in our teaching and as such was not just anticipated, but expected. This is a concept unfamiliar to many of kids I have seen these days, but for us, we knew if you break it, you bought it.
As a child, I was very fond of cookies and other sweets. My parents had to set up solid boundaries to keep me from overdoing it. I knew full well that taking cookies without asking was wrong, but I kept trying to do it anyway! I distinctly remember one Sunday morning I woke up before most every one else in the house, and LORDY, did a cookie sound soooooooo good. I knew mom had a batch in the kitchen she’d cooked up the night before. I tiptoed down the hall and through the living room, the dining room and finally into the kitchen like I was one of the spies in canaan, trying to make my way to the cookie jar undetected. I gathered a good-sized handful and started back. Through the dining room, through the living room- I was rounding the sofa and bound for the hallway when all of a sudden there stood in front of me the very man who had warned me that doing such a forbidden thing would only cause me pain! I don’t remember how old I was, but I was only waist-high, that much I DO recall. Slowly I raised my head to see an expression on his face that was both stern and disappointed all at once. I KNEW I was in for a punishment, but the punishment is not what stuck in my memory. In fact the punishment is long forgotten, as I seriously do NOT recall what punishment I received. What stuck in my memory was that look- that DISAPPOINTMENT, in my fathers eyes.
Even though we had a firm hand in our father, we also knew that he loved us and has never stopped loving us. When we need help, he does what he can when asked. That doesn’t mean he bails us out of our trouble, but rather helps to point us in the way of repair or redemption, showing the way out of whatever we have done wrong. As my Grandmother Elrod once told me, “I really like Marvin; he can be quiet, but when he speaks, you’d better listen, because still waters run deep. He’s a real thinker, and whatever he says has been really thought out”
I see so much of those very qualities possessed by my father as a mirror image of those belonging to our heavenly father- always there for us, teaching, leading and guiding us, in so far as we are willing to listen and obey; when we wander off, we fall subject to the consequences of our wanderings, but when we are willing to repent and return, He is right there for us. If we fall on our face in the midst of trying to do everything on our own, not listening to his gentle voice to guide us, he doesn’t automatically reach in and pull us out, but is there in a split second when we reach out to him, and are willing to listen to his gentle instructions. When we get hit , in life, with the unexpected injury or loss that we do not understand, we have only to turn to our Father for guidance and the reassurance of faith in Him that brings us to know that HE knows what we do not, and He will do all he can to bring us through it.
I realize, that in this day and age, not all people have been blessed by a relationship with their earthly fathers like what we had, and that human frailty causes many fathers to make mistakes. But no matter where we come from or what we have been through, each of us can look to our heavenly Father to pull us out of the mire and destruction IF we seek him. I for one and all the others who have shared with you in this pod cast KNOW he is there for you and will always be. Get to know HIM, and you will be amazed at all you have been missing.
A special thanks to DAVE BERLAND and Jason Elkins for their amazing assistance and contribution to this podcast!