I didn’t get to see my Dad on Father’s Day this year. For one reason or another, we couldn’t make it back home in time. But sitting in church on Sunday, I got to thinking about some of my favorite memories with my Dad.
There’s mountain biking in the fall. The night Dad, Derek and I waited in the Wal-Mart parking lot to get a Wii when they first came out. The smell of cigars on crisp October nights. The Sunday morning wrestling matches and the time Dad used food coloring as wrestling face paint and then couldn’t get it off in time for church.
I also see a lot of characteristics in my Dad that I want to emulate. Integrity. Stewardship. The willingness to call something out that wasn’t right. The ability to do a job well but not be controlled by work. To my knowledge, he never took a work phone home but went in early most days to make sure everything got done.
There’s also a lot of ways my Dad and I aren’t alike. For instance, he cheers for the Bears; I go for the Packers. I love rock climbing and heights aren’t his thing. He’ll take a Diet Pepsi. I prefer a Diet Coke. He loves to fly. I don’t.
Actually, that doesn’t quite do my dislike for flying justice. For a very long time, I would put flying towards the very top of the list of things Micah absolutely dreads to do. Now I know my odds of winning the Powerball are better than my odds of dying in a plane crash, but fear never listens to the odds. Fear seems to thrive on the 1% chance of disaster and is sustained by the perpetual “what if?” mentality.
But I want to share with you something a mentor told me.
He says, “Questions in life comes down to whether or not I believe I have a heavenly Father who loves me.”
Now, I’ve grown up in Sunday school, completed my eight AWANA books, gone to the youth group lock-ins, traveled on missions trips, and previously worked for a church. But none of that keeps fear from creeping in. My Dad and Mom were around to check for monsters in the closet but I live like my Heavenly Father is downstairs snoring when life gets scary.
But the reality is this. I do have a Father who loves me. And I want to live in the truth every. single. day.
Maybe we don’t believe the same things, and that’s okay. I’m aware enough to know that both wonderful and terrible things have been done in the name of religion, and I can’t make an excuse for any of it. I can only choose what I believe and how I respond.
And out here on a bike there’s so much out of my control. When something on the bike starts to creak, tonight’s lodging falls through, or it just plain storms, I feel my own insufficiency and fear trying to seize control of my heart. But then I remind myself that I have a Father who loves me whether I make it to Maine or don’t go a mile further than I am now. A Father who loves me when I’m on my bike or building a business and a Father who loves me regardless of whether or not that business succeeds.
And when I get on the plane to fly home, I’m going to be like my Dad and enjoy the flight, because I know I have a Father who loves me.
5 miles to Taco Bell for lunch…in the rain…
Rain Day in Evan Mills, NY