Monday September 12, 2011
Every September brings thoughts of my dad.
Today would have been his 85th birthday, and my memories are full of lessons he left me.
He used to say to me and my sister, “Don’t cross the stream before the bridge is built, girls, or you’ll surely get your feet wet.” A Kentucky colloquialism he made up, I’m sure. But so true—don’t get ahead of yourself. Don’t worry about tomorrow!
I distinctly remember him saying, “No matter what you do, babe, be the best at it that you can. If you’re a garbage man, you should be the best garbage man there is for the Lord.” That has echoed in my head over the years as I’ve loaded the washer, picked up toys and socks, cleaned up boys’ messes.
His favorite hymn? The Old Rugged Cross. Dad couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but he sang with gusto, with love, with enthusiasm. I loved that about him. And that cross? It was central in his life.
I remember our talk one night as he dropped me off at the school gym for a dance. He said, “No matter what, babe, you’ll always be our daughter.” I knew he’d love me no matter what I did, but for some reason, I never wanted to disappoint him.
My dad was resilience personified. You just couldn’t keep him down. He did his best, worked his hardest, and did it all with a smile. Not only that, he could tease with the best of them and pulled great pranks! And the great thing is, we had him around long enough for my boys to remember those things about him.
One of my favorite memories? The sound of crashing, terrifying thunder and lightning mingled with Dad's voice as he read Matthew 6:24-34 to me. It talks about God caring for the lilies of the fields and the birds of the air, and it ends with these words:
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Somehow, the storm seemed a lot less frightening when Dad uttered those words.
What a memory—an earthly father who led me to my Heavenly Father.
You left a priceless legacy, Dad.
Linking up today with Michelle for Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday and Jen at Finding Heaven Today for Soli deo Gloria. Click on over and come along with us!