Today is my Dad’s birthday. And as I sit to write in his card, I am impacted by one statement.
“As those who have gone before left you an inheritance of faith, so will you leave us your own inheritance of faith.”
It gives me pause. As I re-read that statement, I feel the need to reflect on how I have inherited my Dad’s faith.
My Dad is a strong man, physically strong. I’m pretty sure as a child I was convinced nothing could ever take my Dad down. AND to hear the stories he tells of his youth… yup he’s one tough dude!
I have so many memories of growing up with my dad. The time he taught me to ride the motorbike, and the skidoo (snow machine). Him teaching me how to plane wood. How to sand properly, how to mud nail holes. My dad teaching my how to clean and change the spark plugs in our various mechanical toys. My dad constantly working on some project or another, and enlisting my help! My dad teaching me to run, to ride a bike.
One summer, the city was working on the pipeline (we lived in the middle of nowhere) and digging up all the old piping so naturally my dad asked if he could have a piece. It was huge and forest green. The workers must have wondered why anyone would want a piece of old piping. But that’s just the way my Dad is. He sees what others can’t. What did he do with that used, huge piece of pipe? Isn’t it obvious? He turned it upright in the middle of our back yard, filled it with water and voila we had ourselves an good ole fashioned hickster pool! Grand. That was my Dad’s style! 🙂
All of these memories are wonderful and make me laugh. But where is it that I have been given an inheritance of faith?
I don’t remember a lot of mushy moments with my Dad. He wasn’t one to go on and on about anything really.. (I inherited the gift of the gab from my Mom!) but when he did talk, you listened. Because he wasn’t going to repeat himself and generally it was worth hearing!
Today, he really hasn’t changed all that much. He still would rather be busy, working, tearing something apart, re-building making some sort of toy then sitting around talking endlessly. That being said, it should be noted that my Dad can and will talk your ear off if you get him on the right topic!
I also don’t remember a lot of discussion with Dad about the bible. Periodically we would have family devotions. Then we’d stop… then we’d start up again! We would always have family meals, and pray before we ate. I remember this one game we’d play… My Dad would squeeze the person’s hand a certain number of times, then that person would squeeze the person beside them that same number less one until finally it would reach the person whose turn it was to pray. One time we played a trick on Dad and the squeezes went all the way back to him. Great memories.
So why then, would I say I will/and have inherited my father’s faith? What did I see? What did I hear? He never preached, wasn’t eloquent in expounding the truths of the Word.
It comes down to his life. My Dad has been and continues to be faithful. He is faithful to my Mom, never leaving her, cherishing her and showing us true godly love. He is faithful to his children. There have been and continue to be many many times where we have cut him with our words and actions. Moments where we have not honoured our father, where we have not shown him respect, where we have not shown him love. And yet, he remains faithful. He is not swayed by our actions. He continues to love us without reservation. He is faithful.
He is faithful to his family, his friends, his church. He gives generously to everyone. Not just with money but with his time, with his personal resources. He gives and expects nothing in return.
My father is a man of faith and he is a faithful man.
I know my heavenly father will be faithful to me and love me and never leave me because my earthly father demonstrated that to me. I believe in the God of my father because my father believes with his whole heart and lives his life in a way that is honouring to God. I have inherited a deep faith because of my Dad.
And now it is my turn. To live my life in such a way that my own children will see God in me. To live in such a manner that those around me have no doubt to whom I bow my knee and my heart.
My Dad may not spout eloquent words. But the testament of his faith is all around him.
He is leaving an inheritance of faith.
I am so blessed to have an earthly father who is such a strong man.
I love you Dad.