Worlds Greatest Dad?
There's only one World Series winner, one champion of the Superbowl, and only one takes home the gold in the Olympics. How many "World's Best Father's", "Greatest Dads",' " Padre es Numero Uno", can there be ? On and around Father's Day the tee-shirts, ties and caps, bearing these claims are endless. I don't have the stats to prove it, but strung end to end this 'daddy gear' would stretch to the moon and back. On Daddy's big day every dad is a winner.
Unfortunately, daddy does not enjoy such a good rap the rest of the year. There is a lot of Papa bashing going on. Just go to the movies or turn on prime-time television. Dads are most often portrayed as, divorced deadbeats who do not pay child support. If a dad is portrayed in the home at all, he is stupid or at the very least, ignorant of how anything works; including his wife. T.V. dad is often absent and never for good reason. He is missing in action, but not out diligently working towards a better life for his family.
The day of the positive father role model has withered away. More likely he was assassinated. Bill Cosby's capable and lovable Heath Huxtable, is ancient history. He has been replaced by an often debase, lesser, lacking, loser dad. Mom and the kids get all the one liners, and Pop is the butt of their jokes.
I refuse to believe art is imitating life. Fathers are still running behind bikes, cheering their kids on at ball games, teaching teenagers to drive, and about life in general. Sure there is the minority, the disappointing segment of 'loser' dads that give the rest a bad name. It is sorrowful that these few are recognized as the norm and not the 'exception to the rule'.
My own dear father could have been portrayed in a Norman Rockwell painting. As far as I was concerned the fun did not begin until he was present. Then the party was on! He was full of good ideas and would try anything once. One Christmas a long while ago, my siblings and I were returning home from different parts of the country. It was my husband's first Christmas with his new family. He and I arrived in the pre-dawn hours of a cold December morning. Sleepy eyed I spied, above the garage door of my childhood home, a sign hung there by my father. In huge letters he had painted each of our names followed by the words, "WELCOME HOME". It hung there through the holidays and was not taken down until each of his returning children had seen it. Even today many years later I can envision him fashioning that sign. He was spurred on with anticipation. His 'welcome' would be the first thing seen at the end of a long trip home.
My father embraced his kids and adored his wife. This is not to say he was perfect. No. In his later years he often lamented that he had made many mistakes while raising his children. Funny though, if he did I could never hold it against him. Whatever mistakes he made are out-weighed by his unconditional love.
Speaking of unconditional love, I have knowledge of a daddy who had every reason to disown his son. His son denounced their relationship, ran away, and lived his life in complete denial of his father and his upbringing. He lived in opposition to everything he had been taught. He became a 'derelict' and a 'good for nothing'. Then, if you can believe the nerve of this son, he came back home. He came crawling back, throwing himself on the mercy of his broken father. His father had been hurt so deeply that one could understand if he were to 'rub the son's nose in it' so to speak. It is reasonable that his Pop would have a 'you made your bed' attitude. But lucky for the son, his father could wear the tee shirt. He could sport the cap. He threw his arms around his stinky son and loved him. The dad called in all his friends for a huge barbecue. His son, whom he thought was dead, was alive. He was overjoyed that his son, who was lost, had been found!
The embroidered stitching on the cap of the aforementioned dad could have been read "Out of this World's Greatest Dad". He is not of this world. The heavenly Father throws his arms around us stinky children who choose to come home. He unconditionally loves the rebellious, wayward child who has chosen to live in denial of the Father. He bids us, with tender mercy to come home. He welcomes us with open arms, and rejoices with the angels in heaven, at the repentance of a 'know it all' child.
If you are away, ignoring the Father Who loves you, living as though He doesn't exist, come home. He is waiting with an open embrace. He will not chide you for where you have been. He will rejoice that you have returned. Come Home. If you are wearily burdened, and in need of rest from a long unfulfilled journey, Come Home. Your barbecue reception is ever warm. Come Home.
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is light."
(Dedicated to the mighty memory of:
James Page I, Wallace Page, Milton Tex)Burow, Calvin Brown, Wyatt Maxwell Toliver Senior, Irvine White, Cecil Walker Sr., Ted Fanzlaw, Rev. A. Bingham -fathers who could "wear the tee shirt", and "sport the cap.")
I Peter 2:5
2 Timothy 1:12b-14
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