After a mostly difficult and discouraging day yesterday, I drove home in silence for the millionth time thinking something along the lines of Peter Gibbon’s retort in Office Space, “Every day at work is worse than the day before, so basically every day you see me is the worst day of my life.” Yeah, overdramatic. And yes, a grave distortion of our vocational calling as men. But anyone who has worked a day in their life can understand that feeling.
Somewhere along the way, rollin with the flow of the concrete riverbeds to my home, the phone buzzed. Interrupting my journey into self-pity was an email from my father. “Call me.”
No one knows a son like his father. And in the 20 minutes I spent talking to a man who has worked for more time than I’ve been alive (and persevered), I found encouragment. He talked to me about Robert E. Lee, whose biographic character my father is studying, and about turning failures into successes through God-sustained endurance. Surely God, as our Father, knows how to sustain those who lean on him in affliction. That day it was through my father.
And from that conversation arose a kind of “hinge moment,” a turning-point, if you will. The great failure of many in our generation is the failure of fathers to pass along a love of biblical virtue to their children—in other words, to demonstrate, teach, and celebrate the pursuit of perfection in character. Endurance. Patience. Honor. Bravery. Courage. I’m grateful to have a father that helped me see that in the face of my selfishness and pity.
I’m grateful to have a father’s wisdom in the midst of my wrestling with life. It’s from the same Father’s love that I lay awake at 3:30 am this morning, staring at the ceiling. One thing turned as a record in my mind: “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
We do not go through these trials without the love of a Father.