Fathers. I've had three in my life, two of them contributed more than they know.
Thefirst father I had brought me into this world. He was a bit of a train wreck, marriage wise, but while in their lives, he was fiercely loyal to those around him, stimulating a return in kind. One of his passions was creative writing. In part, I have reaped a blessing from that lineage, and you are experiencing it now. His other main passion was being a car mechanic. If someone was approaching driving age, and some just wishing, he did his best to ensure they knew the basics of listening to a car and getting it fixed early. Relative or friend, he ensured those around had a working car. It was his way of saying, you need to get out there and explore life.
I was not around for this part of the inheritance, as I was eight when he drove away. But I see clearly now that wheels are a blessing that work both ways. Initially the best part of an adventure is when you leave for the trip. Another equally exciting part is when you come home, don't miss that part of the blessing, as some people do and they short change themselves. Thank you Gary, for life, I am grateful.
The second Father I had in my life was my adopted Father, who has earned the title of Dad. He was the guy who, out of love for my mother, took on the responsibilities of a Father and ensured my sister and I were raised with kindness and discipline. Both were needed desperately. Kindness, to teach us that acceptance is way more than tolerance, but is a full on embrace of determination to understand and the willingness to participate in the life of another. Discipline, although we had our misunderstandings, most of which came from my confused self, I retain warm strong memories of discipline, a teaching that taught me to reach to be a better man. This was always accompanied with a sense of protection, even from myself when I made mistakes. For those of you who don't know, the word discipline means “teach”, not crude punishment, this is instruction in the hope, that life can be better. Thank You Dad, for hope, I am grateful!
For both these men, I am grateful!
The third Father I had, worked in the background. Maneuvering and prompting situations and people to bring the best into my life. He was there to put a check in my conscience, when the temptation to do harm to myself, and so as a result to others as well, was presented. He was always there making the effort to steer me from what would bring regret, to teach me to avoid the actions, not just the results, of wrong being. Of course this is what any good Father should do, but other Fathers can't be present all the time, He was, and further still He teaches me to avoid those prompters of thoughts that lead to life wounding actions, so it'll never get to that stage. But, like all of us at times, didn't listen to sound instruction, and there were other streams of influence, trying to draw me away, which eventually, for a while, gained a foot hold, and I went on a self destructive pathway. Just as a side note, those aspiring Fathers, who think teaching a young person to drink or even worse, who think lying your way through things is a skill, who think shame is a badge to wear, no one wants you in the club, until you grow up inside.
My first father was absent, my second overwhelmed and discouraged, my third unrelentless. Love. No matter what harmful result I found myself in, be it recreational usage of substances and the addictions that followed, the irresponsible lifestyle leading to unwelcome pregnancies, turning out to be just a scare, I hope, I don't want innocent blood on my hands, or the rightful moral and legal intervention of all of the above directions, God was always there, accepting the difficulty I was in, bringing no condemnation, just the help needed to fix my moral compass. Like most young minds, as the saying goes, “who don't have the sense they're born with,” I was a wash of chemically, emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually induced conflicts. God was there to calm them all when I finally stopped fighting and listened. His patience is beyond our fear, his Love is greater than our loss, his presence is available to all who will come where He waits for us, in Christ.
Thank you Heavenly Father, the Father of our breath, for purpose, peace and eternal life!
Before I am done this editorial, I would be remiss, if I didn't mention two other Fathers who are active, and absolutely necessary in our community. These are the Father “mentors” in our community, those who take on the role of being there for the neighbour's youngster, who has no Father present in there life. The coach who makes that extra effort to help a teen develop in a skill, building there confidence and esteem in life, or the one who lends a listening ear at a coffee shop or when fishing, so the injustice of a life unanswered is trumped by someone who hears the call and that life doesn't fade away. For those who have experienced this and for those who will, thank you, we are grateful!
Lastly, and certainly equal in every respect, to the mothers who have to fill the role of both mother and father. RESPECT! The word is still not enough to cover it. However, to those mothers who have a man who wants fill those shoes, if he's a halfway decent man, let him, he's designed for it, it worked out great for me, and you've got enough on your plate. It's a hard row to hoe, but never give up giving children the tools they need and balance in life, it's the noblest thing you will ever do. For those who have experienced this as well and for those who will, thank you, we are enormously grateful!
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