Fatherhood & Sacrifice

Written by cycleguy on June 20th, 2010

Today is Father’s Day and I wish with all my heart that I could post what some others have posted like Michael does.  But I am more like Zee and Phil and others who had fathers that made stabs at being one from time to time but then sort of went AWOL.  I love my father but for the past 35 years (yes, that is how old my oldest daughter is!  I love you Tami!)  😀 ,I have focused on being a father to two wonderful girls.  I am grateful for the men God has brought into my life-my grandfather (who poured his life into me), Coach Parrish, Jim Simpson (my first pastoral mentor), my father-in-law and others who have sacrificed themselves to help me become a man of God.   While studying for my most recent sermon I came across the following story:

In 1908, Ernest Shackleton led the Nimrod Expedition to reach the South Pole in Antarctica.  it was a journey of grueling hardship and inhuman endurance.  His team, bone-weary and famished, has to turn back less than 100 miles from their destination.  In his diary, Shackleton tells of the moment their food was almost gone, down to a few scraps of hardtack-a bland, dry biscuit.  Shackleton distributed it evenly among the men.  Some ate it there and then, licking crumbs off their fingers like starved dogs.  Others stored it in their food bags for a time when their hunger became a kind of madness.

That night, Shackleton awoke to a sound.  He opened his eyes and, lying still, watched. In the ragged circle of firelight he saw a sight that made his heart sink: his most trusted man opening the sack of a fellow next to him and taking out his food bag.

And then Shackleton saw a sight that made his heart leap: his most trusted man placing his own hardtack into the other man’s bag.  He wasn’t stealing bread.  He was sacrificing his own.

In my mind, that is what being a father is all about.  Sacrificing for those God has entrusted to me.  It also reminds me of the ultimate sacrifice made by my real Father.   If you had an earthly father, what one characteristic stands our to you?  What characteristic of your Heavenly Father is best demonstrated by your earthly father?  If you care to share, I can rejoice with you or pray with/for you.


14 Comments so far ↓

  1. Tami Grandi says:

    Happy Father’s Day! I love you! Wish I could be there to show you that!

  2. Michael says:

    Bill, first off happy father’s day. Your girls are blessed to have you as a dad.

    Sacrifice is the one thing that comes to mind when I think about my dad and the characteristics that he shows. Looking back, I realize how much he gave up because he loved us kids.

  3. cycleguy says:

    Tami: thanks. You two made it/make it easy to be a dad and to love.

  4. cycleguy says:

    Michael: thanks for the kind words. I hope you will know the joy I have had. I also hope others will read the link to yours. Your dad must have been/be something else. You are blessed.

  5. Jaycee (E.A) says:

    Happy father’s day Cycleguy Spin. You’re a blessing to myself and many others. Thanks.

  6. Linda M says:

    Hi Cycleguy,

    I did have an earthly father for about 12 years. I would say that he was mostly absent from his 2 girls for most of that 12 years. He was a farmer. He was an alcoholic drinker. He was dishonorably discharged from the army in world war two. He hid from all of his family and relatives for more than 30 years after he and my mother divorced in 1968. No one had any personal contact with him over these years or knew where he could be found. He was a disturbed man. I think his own growing up years were disfunctional as his only sister Bessy had to be a substitute mother to 4 boys. Their own mother (my grandmother) stopped functioning in that roll, took a house in town, and left the family farm and the kids. This was during a time period when divorce was unthinkable and a total social disgrace.

    A chracteristic of my dad was that he picked a favorite among his two daughters. Most of his favoritism was based on my coloring as I have the ‘red’ coloring of the ‘Irish’ and my sister has the brown hair and brown eyes. My mother was the ‘saving grace’ so to speak in our family, for myself and my sister. We were not a believing family of faith (in fact my dad was an open opposer of God) but my mother would watch a young Billy Graham on tv.

    When we were teenagers it was our opinion and our friends’ opinions that we had the best mother in the world. She talked with us. She respected us. She had a ‘good head’ on her shoulders. She was a responsible woman. However, she was not perfect. She made some big mistakes in life about which she stated she would have liked to have had an opportunity to do differently. Wouldn’t we all?

    I think the best characteristic of God demonstrated by my earthly father was love. In his own way he loved his family. Unfortunately, he was unable to get himself in any position to do anything worthwhile with the love he did have. So. So. Sad.

  7. cycleguy says:

    Thanks Jaycee. Appreciate the kind words.

  8. cycleguy says:

    Linda: thanks for your openness and honesty. Although I never had the alcoholism to deal with as you did, hiding out from family could be said. Not in the strict sense of the word but I do not remember my grandfather at all and saw my dad’s mother maybe once a year. Like you my mother was the saving grace. My grandfather was the very first man who poured his life into me. We all, in some way, carry wounds from our childhood and I am sure you do. I pray God will give you a new sense of His Fatherhood in the coming days.

  9. Jim F. says:

    Sacrifice is what it is all about – our heavenly father sacrificed for us.

    I saw this with the dad I am blessed with – He sacrificed for us – He worked hard – I am blessed to have a wonderful example.

    Thanks for sharing this Bill.

  10. cycleguy says:

    Jim: Glad you had a father who modeled this for you. I am sure you also model it for your two.

  11. Duane Scott says:

    That was a very special story! Such unselfishness. It just does my heart good to see the gift you give your kids.

    You’re a good dad. I can tell.

    I too, am thankful I have a wonderful father.

  12. Kim says:

    Sacrifice of course comes to mind, but one that occured to me with both of my fathers is relentless love.

    No matter how badly I mess or muddle things up, my earthly and heavenly father are unwavering in their love of me.

    I was and am blessed to have my Dad.

    Happy Father’s Day Bill. I’m hoping you had a great day.

  13. cycleguy says:

    Duane: thanks for visiting my site. Thanks for the compliment. I pray everyday for my girls.

  14. cycleguy says:

    Kim: welcome back from cherokee land! Good to see you here. It is good that you have an earthly father and a heavenly father who have both shown unwavering love. That is the great feeling. I had a fantastic FD.