A Father’s Day Reflection

It’s 4am and I’m awake.

My mind is moving, attempting to ponder everything that this week has brought before me. Although the diagnosis was favorable and I have amazing confidence in my doctor, there’s still something that stirs my soul.

I think it has to do with the reckoning of my own mortality. Our mortality.

People hate the word cancer.

Most avoid saying it.

And it is awful.

But I won’t give it the pleasure of my fear. For fear itself is cancer. Corrupting, not your body, but your Spirit, one thought at a time. No, that will not be me.

So, I rise, make my way into our kitchen and start the coffee. The rich aroma fills the room. It’s still dark outside, the birds are not yet awake – this unique quiet has become my hallowed ground.

This is what my soul longs for – communion with my Father. Then I remember, this weekend is Father’s Day and I think about my boys: Matthew, Wyatt, and Greyson. My superheros.

My superheros

My superheros

Even in the midst of infertility, almost five years ago, I never doubted that I would be a father. Now, I can’t imagine much different. My life revolves around these precious little boys.

As I reflect on fatherhood through the lens of my news this week, I began to think about all they have taught me.

Laughter.

Patience.

Honesty.

Discipline.

Humility.

Gratitude.

Understanding.

Gentleness.

Strength.

Love.

The Lord knows that I’m in need of learning. So I become a student to these traits. Making every effort to learn from my boys and learn with my boys.

And it’s difficult. Very difficult.

Just last night I was talking with a friend about how challenging it is to stay engaged in the evenings through bedtime.

Have you ever been there?

After a day’s work, the desirable qualities above can fade into:

Impatience.

Entitlement.

Selfishness.

Pride.

Unfortunately, I find myself in this position all too often.

Have you ever considered which list best describes you?

This week has taught me many things, but in this context, it has shown me that these lists don’t just apply to fatherhood or motherhood, they apply to my life as well. When the hours carry on and challenges begin to arise, our true character is revealed.

Which list do I embrace then?

That is an incredibly important question to ask of yourself because it is in those moments that we become. In those moments, we fight to understand and become who we were created to be, or we give in and settle.

The importance rests on our ability to discern these moments and which list we are choosing.

As I looked at these two lists, I noticed an affinity toward the first.

Do you notice a longing for the first list?

Have you ever considered why?

My reading this morning from Ecclesiastes helped me shed some light on these thoughts.

The longing is because of our true Father – the one who has modeled these qualities since the beginning of time.

In his book, King Solomon shares:

“He (God) has set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is a longing in each of us for eternity, but it’s difficult to understand.

Maybe, just maybe, that’s why the word cancer terrifies us. Maybe we’re not certain about that eternity we all face.

Yes. That’s it.

So how do we find certainty?

You’ll have to uncover that on your own.

As for me, I’m beginning to understand.

And that is why I rise early to read His word. Not because it’s easy. Because His word is my sword, it gives me the understanding to fight.

It helps me pursue the first list as I live my life. As I lead my family. It helps me rest in His presence as I face an uncertain future, regardless of a favorable diagnosis.

This Father’s Day I will cherish my boys and the blessing that they are in my life.

I hope you will do the same with those entrusted to you.

More importantly, this Father’s Day, I will give thanks to Him for the eternity that has been placed in my heart.

Because of eternity I will not fear.

MH

Question: What eternal qualities are you investing in today? Are you letting fear keep you captive?

I'm blessed by the people who have poured love, prayers, encouragement, and hope over us the past few days. More importantly, the people who I have had the opportunity to join with in prayer. 

I'm continually reminded that God uses ALL things to His glory. And those that have shared in this journey continue to show me that truth.

May you have an awesome Father's Day weekend.

, , , ,

  • Al Sheneman

    one of the greatest gifts a man can receive. Any man can be a father….it takes a real man to be a daddy.

  • Steven Tessler

    I’ve been letting fear control me. On this vacation I’ve found my “WHY”!!
    I now know what I need to do!

    If I was told I have cancer I would do what my father did with his and attack it!! Prepare for the outcome but not just sit and let it take it’s course without fighting!!

    Today we are celebrating his 80th birthday and he doesn’t look a day over 60!!

    My hero, my Dad!!

    • That’s awesome Steven – Happy Birthday to your father!!

  • Tom Morris

    Matt: Well said.