Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just be Quiet - A lesson from my Dad

Today it occurred to me that perhaps I was put in this family because God knew I needed a pastor for a father. *sigh*

I've watched Him through thick and thin; frustrating re-modeling projects, peaceful evenings, emergencies,  nerve-grating conversations, when he was sick, when he was exhausted, when he was laughing...and I've learned a few things.

My Dad has come to understand an important truth at some point; wait to speak until it's God's time.

So often I hear of fusses and stews in churches, in marriages, between brothers and sisters...and I feel bogged down with the frustration of it all. "So-and-so won't shake hands with so-and-so" anymore, and "Teresa" is the family favorite, or "Brother "Joe" won't have anything to do with Brother "Jack" - there's too much arguing and not enough love.

I've seen a whole different example in my Dad. I remember watching him talk with people who (I knew) didn't agree with him on many points. He didn't debate, he didn't shout, he didn't try to prove his point - he just sat there quietly. Furthermore, when it was time to go, he was friendly and kind. Everyone already knew what he believed, so why start a war?

Being a pastor, he catches a bit of flack from folks, sometimes. A couple years ago, I remember watching his face after someone called to tell him he hadn't handled a situation properly. I must admit, my blood boiled. "How could they have said such a thing to him?" But he didn't vent about "how awful those people were" or send a "piece of his mind" flying back into the receiver.  I knew it had to hurt, and he's not the kind of guy who doesn't talk to anyone about what goes on...but he took it serenely.

It never mattered what anyone said or what anyone did. He's always been patient and courteous, keeping his mouth shut until God prompts him to open it. Until then, he prays for God's solution.

I've admired him for waiting. Often, people think it's a sign of ignorance or weakness to not "stand up for your beliefs" when someone wants to argue with you. On the other hand, common sense shows us that nothing is ever solved in a debate. Feelings get hurt, rivers widen, walls are built higher - but when God comes on the scene, well, just look what happened to Saul on the road to Damascus!

In my opinion, Proverbs 16 handles the question quite well; 20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he. 32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Self control is something I admire so much. Dad is an example of it, for me, in so many ways. Besides being quiet and waiting for God to speak, he also gives everything he does his best effort - be it patiently coddling the grilled pork for twelve hours (so it will be perfect), or sweating his life away with perfect "form" for each exercise in his hour-and-a-half long work-out. (I've tried a few of his workout videos...and it's really hard not to fall down the steps after finishing as much of the "Plyometrics" DVD as I could handle. Your knees just kinda give way if you're not careful.)

This weekend, we're having special meetings with Brother Darrel Ward (June 15th on Saturday evening and 16th at 10:00 AM if you're interested!!) so we're having Father's Day today. 

Dad, I hope you know how much you mean to me, your family, and everyone who comes in contact with you. Your steadiness and quiet strength are a comfort to so many...and your mischievous tricks and witty comments light up my dullest days. ;)


Delvalina said...

This is beautiful post about Father. I know the feeling when you see your parents dealing with some people. My parents are also the pastor and parents for the orphans for 13 years. I know the hard times they're in but they never stop inspire me in many things. :)


Anna said...

Delvalina, your right. Parents are inspiring in so many ways. I really appreciate your sweet comment!

God Bless,