A good father is one of the most unsung, upraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society. – Dr. Billy Graham
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Roses are the Father’s Day flowers: red to be worn for a living father and white if the father has died … but it wasn’t always so. The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington, right next to the little town where we currently live.
Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father’s Day while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, Henry Jackson Smart, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in her eyes, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora’s father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration on June 19th, 1910, in Spokane.
My father went to be with the Lord many years ago. He was a gentle and quiet man who really didn’t have much time to spend with me while I was young, but I loved him so much. His legacy to me was his kind heart and great integrity. He taught me to be responsible, that grace was important, but that my poor judgment or bad behavior had consequences. I didn’t get an allowance or trophy unless I earned it. I am so very grateful for him, and I really miss him.
It is human nature to assume and expect that those things we cherish most will always be with us. Many folks are so caught up in their careers that they don’t take time to really show their appreciation to others, especially their parents. I’m thankful that the Lord gave me almost four months during my dad’s battle with cancer to “get it right.” Dad enjoyed going for rides, watching the A’s games, and popping down to the donut shop to get a cup of coffee and a donut with his friends.
None of these things were favorites with me; however, I knew dad enjoyed them, so they became important to me. My greatest regrets in life revolve around my dad. I wish I’d have taken more time to really know him.
Obviously, we don’t have to wait for a national holiday to honor our dads or spend time with them. If your father is still alive, consider calling him today to let him know how much you appreciate him. Send him a note or take him to coffee if you live close. If your relationship is strained, too painful, or simply estranged, ask God if you might have any part in reconciliation. If your father has passed away or you never knew him, consider showing your appreciation for other folks in your life who have mentored you, been models of faith, and offered you encouragement. In America, we spell love: T-I-M-E. Let’s not be too busy to show our appreciation.
This July 31 – Aug. 1, millions of men from all across the country will convene via live video and audio for Promise Keepers’ first Virtual Online Event, which is offered via livestream and simulcast to individuals and churches everywhere completely free of charge.
Individuals may register for the free livestream of the event at https://promisekeepers.brushfire.com/virtual-2020/466931
Churches may register to simulcast the event for free at https://promisekeepers.brushfire.com/2020/463892
In 2021, 80,000 men are expected to gather from across America and around the world at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys, for its annual stadium event.
Photo courtesy: ©Humphrey Muleba/Unsplash
About Promise Keepers
Founded in 1990 by Coach Bill McCartney, Promise Keepers is one of the most significant movements of God in the history of the church. In 1997 alone, Promise Keepers packed 22 NFL stadiums and gathered 1 million men for Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men at Lincoln Memorial in the District of Columbia.
The organization’s mission is to empower men to live out their God-given identity and purpose today and destiny tomorrow by serving their homes, workplaces and communities with integrity and influence.