Well, this Sunday is Father’s Day; one of my favorite days of the year. It’s a very special day, but is also bittersweet. This year I won’t be able to call my Grandpa. Over the course of nearly five years I have worn many hats (as Mr. T would say) while here at Navajo Ministries. No “hat” brings more smiles, memories, fulfillment and satisfaction than my role as dad. I love being a dad.
Of course, I’m still learning. I wish I had this whole dad thing figured out by now, but I don’t. Every day is a new opportunity to learn something new and to get better. I don’t care too much if I fail in other areas or disappoint other people, but I don’t want to fail my children. Could I? Yes.
But there is no chance of success unless there is the possibility of defeat!
Now I won’t bore you with all the details, but I don’t have a relationship with my father. It’s a long story. I learned from my dad what NOT to do in life. He uses relationships for gain – once he feels he is getting nothing out of it – he’s done with you. I wish it were different, and I have tried to make it so, but a person can only do so much.
I can be different though. I relished that first time I was called “Dad.” That was a special day. So here I was, 22 years old, and now I’m a dad. But I had no idea how to be one. I failed terribly in many ways. I fell on my face and my children paid the price. Those first few years of fatherhood produced many regrets; but I learned, and I matured, and I kept being a Dad.
I stumbled in fatherhood for many years until I moved here. For pretty much the first time I had examples of what a godly father should look like – or could look like. It was like an epiphany! Over these past few years I have been richly blessed to watch the men I see and know live and act and relate. It has been an ice cold cup of water on a hot and dry New Mexico day! You may not know who you are, but I am terribly in debt to you.
The saddest part though is that in the process of all of this, all three of my kids turned out quite a bit like me …ornery, sarcastic, silly, rambunctious … they all get their sense of humor from me. Oh what have I done to this world!! In fact, I think that’s the only thing they’ve gotten from me. J
Every year, for the last few years, I’ve only called my grandpa on Father’s Day. This year I can’t. Last year when I called on Father’s Day, that was when I could really tell dementia was setting in. I don’t know if he knew what he was saying really, but he kept saying, “You just gotta do it!” Today I sit here and wonder what he meant. Maybe nothing. But maybe it was a message for all of us about Fatherhood, Motherhood or anything else we do in life.
Just do it!
We often balk because we don’t think we’re ready. We don’t think we’re qualified. We don’t think we’re cut out for … you name it. We step back and settle for far less. So we end up doing nothing, or hindering what we could do in the process. Instead, Just Do It. Nike didn’t invent that term – they just marketed it. My Grandpa though – he lived it. That’s how he did everything. He just did it. When he started farming; he and my Grandma bought the farm but they had no idea what they were doing. They did it anyway – for over 50 years!
I love being a dad. I can’t imagine not being one. My favorite part is when my kids make me laugh, or they cuddle up and give me a hug. There is nothing sweeter than that!
So fatherhood – like everything else – is not perfect, but just do it! To all you dads out there … Thank you for being there, and for being an example for the rest of us to see what it could look like. I hope you have a very Happy Father’s Day.
Take a few moments to remember the best moments, reminisce a little, and give thanks – you have the best job in the world!
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. – Ecclesiastes 9:10
God is calling you to something beyond your capability. You don’t feel qualified or worthy to carry it out. That’s good because you aren’t qualified and you aren’t worthy of it. That’s why you need God! So …
Just Do It!